Biofilms: Hot spots of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in aquatic environments, with a focus on a new HGT mechanism.

Research paper by Kimihiro K Abe, Nobuhiko N Nomura, Satoru S Suzuki

Indexed on: 15 Mar '20Published on: 29 Feb '20Published in: FEMS Microbiology Ecology


Biofilms in water environments are thought to be hot spots for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). ARGs can be spread via HGT, through mechanisms are known and have been shown to depend on the environment, bacterial communities, and mobile genetic elements. Classically, HGT mechanisms include conjugation, transformation, and transduction; more recently, membrane vesicles (MVs) have been reported as DNA reservoirs implicated in interspecies HGT. Here, we review the current knowledge on the HGT mechanisms with a focus on the role of MVs and the methodological innovations in the HGT research. © FEMS 2020.