The effect of a temperature-sensitive prophage on the evolution of virulence in an opportunistic bacterial pathogen

Matthieu Bruneaux, Roghaieh Ashrafi, Ilkka Kronholm, Elina Laanto, Anni-Maria Örmälä-Odegrip, Juan A. Galarza, Zihan Chen, Mruthyunjay Kubendran Sumathi, Tarmo Ketola

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Abstract Viruses are key actors of ecosystems and have major impacts on global biogeochemical cycles. Prophages deserve particular attention as they are ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and can enter a lytic cycle when triggered by environmental conditions. We explored how temperature affects the interactions between prophages and other biological levels by using an opportunistic pathogen, the bacterium Serratia marcescens, that harbours several prophages and that had undergone an evolution experiment under several temperature regimes. We found that the release of one of the prophages was temperature-sensitive and malleable to evolutionary changes. We further discovered that the virulence of the bacterium in an insect model also evolved and was positively correlated with phage release rates. We determined through analysis of genetic and epigenetic data that changes in the bacterial outer cell wall structure possibly explain this phenomenon. We hypothezise that the temperature-dependent phage release rate acted as a selection pressure on S. marcescens and that it resulted in modified bacterial virulence in the insect host. Our study system illustrates how viruses can mediate the inuence of abiotic environmental changes to other biological levels and thus be involved in ecosystem feedback loops.
LehtiMolecular Ecology
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - lokak. 2022
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu



  • 11832 Mikrobiologia ja virologia

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