Strength of selection pressure is an important parameter contributing to the complexity of antibiotic resistance evolution
Öz, Tuğçe and Güvenek, Ayşegül and Yıldız, Sadık and Karaboğa, Enes and Tamer, Yusuf Talha and Mumcuyan, Nirva and Ozan, Vedat Burak and Şentürk, Gizem Hazal and Çokol, Murat and Yeh, Pamela and Toprak, Erdal (2014) Strength of selection pressure is an important parameter contributing to the complexity of antibiotic resistance evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 31 (9). pp. 2387-2401. ISSN 0737-4038 (Print) 1537-1719 (Online)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu191
Revealing the genetic changes responsible for antibiotic resistance can be critical for developing novel antibiotic therapies. However, systematic studies correlating genotype to phenotype in the context of antibiotic resistance have been missing. In order to fill in this gap, we evolved 88 isogenic Escherichia coli populations against 22 antibiotics for 3 weeks. For every drug, two populations were evolved under strong selection and two populations were evolved under mild selection. By quantifying evolved populations' resistances against all 22 drugs, we constructed two separate cross-resistance networks for strongly and mildly selected populations. Subsequently, we sequenced representative colonies isolated from evolved populations for revealing the genetic basis for novel phenotypes. Bacterial populations that evolved resistance against antibiotics under strong selection acquired high levels of cross-resistance against several antibiotics, whereas other bacterial populations evolved under milder selection acquired relatively weaker cross-resistance. In addition, we found that strongly selected strains against aminoglycosides became more susceptible to five other drug classes compared with their wild-type ancestor as a result of a point mutation on TrkH, an ion transporter protein. Our findings suggest that selection strength is an important parameter contributing to the complexity of antibiotic resistance problem and use of high doses of antibiotics to clear infections has the potential to promote increase of cross-resistance in clinics.
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