Mobile Type VI secretion system loci of the gut Bacteroidales display extensive intra-ecosystem transfer, multi-species spread and geographical clustering

Autoři: Leonor García-Bayona aff001;  Michael J. Coyne aff001;  Laurie E. Comstock aff001
Působiště autorů: Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: Mobile Type VI secretion system loci of the gut Bacteroidales display extensive intra-ecosystem transfer, multi-species spread and geographical clustering. PLoS Genet 17(4): e1009541. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1009541
Kategorie: Research Article


The human gut microbiota is a dense microbial ecosystem with extensive opportunities for bacterial contact-dependent processes such as conjugation and Type VI secretion system (T6SS)-dependent antagonism. In the gut Bacteroidales, two distinct genetic architectures of T6SS loci, GA1 and GA2, are contained on Integrative and Conjugative Elements (ICE). Despite intense interest in the T6SSs of the gut Bacteroidales, there is only a superficial understanding of their evolutionary patterns, and of their dissemination among Bacteroidales species in human gut communities. Here, we combine extensive genomic and metagenomic analyses to better understand their ecological and evolutionary dynamics. We identify new genetic subtypes, document extensive intrapersonal transfer of these ICE to Bacteroidales species within human gut microbiomes, and most importantly, reveal frequent population fixation of these newly armed strains in multiple species within a person. We further show the distribution of each of the distinct T6SSs in human populations and show there is geographical clustering. We reveal that the GA1 T6SS ICE integrates at a minimal recombination site leading to their integration throughout genomes and their frequent interruption of genes, whereas the GA2 T6SS ICE integrate at one of three different tRNA genes. The exclusion of concurrent GA1 and GA2 T6SSs in individual strains is associated with intact T6SS loci and with an ICE-encoded gene. By performing a comprehensive analysis of mobile genetic elements (MGE) in co-resident Bacteroidales species in numerous human gut communities, we identify 74 MGE that transferred to multiple Bacteroidales species within individual gut microbiomes. We further show that only three other MGE demonstrate multi-species spread in human gut microbiomes to the degree demonstrated by the GA1 and GA2 ICE. These data underscore the ubiquity and dissemination of mobile T6SS loci within Bacteroidales communities and across human populations.

Klíčová slova:

Bacteroides – Genetic loci – Genome analysis – Genomics – Gut bacteria – Metagenomics – Mobile genetic elements – Secretion systems


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