Horizontal genes transfer (HGT) plays an important role in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the environment. However, the mechanisms of HGT of ARGs under the influence of antibiotics in sub-MIC remain rarely explored. Moreover, given its collective nature, HGT was considered to be relative to quorum sensing (QS) system. To investigate whether QS has any impact on horizontal gene transfer of ARGs, experiments were conducted to determine the conjugative efficiency of plasmid RP4 on Escherichia coli (E.coli) under the influences of tetracyclines (TCs), quorum sensing autoinducers (AIs) and quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs). The results indicated that the sub-MIC TCs could facilitate the conjugative transfer of RP4, a process which could be enhanced by AIs but inhibited by QSIs. This study demonstrated the roles that QS played in the dissemination of ARGs, and provided theoretical insights into the mechanism of HGT of ARGs in the environment.
Ecotoxicology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 19, 2018
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