Bacterial predator-prey coevolution accelerates genome evolution and selects on virulence-associated prey defences
Nair, Ramith R.
Yu, Yuen-Tsu N.
Velicer, Gregory J.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Generalist bacterial predators are likely to strongly shape many important ecological and evolutionary features of microbial communities, for example by altering the character and pace of molecular evolution, but investigations of such effects are scarce. Here we report how predator-prey interactions alter the evolution of fitness, genomes and phenotypic diversity in coevolving bacterial communities composed of Myxococcus xanthus as predator and Escherichia coli as prey, relative to single-species controls. We show evidence of reciprocal adaptation and demonstrate accelerated genomic evolution specific to coevolving communities, including the rapid appearance of mutator genotypes. Strong parallel evolution unique to the predator-prey communities occurs in both parties, with predators driving adaptation at two prey traits associated with virulence in bacterial pathogens—mucoidy and the outer-membrane protease OmpT. Our results suggest that generalist predatory bacteria are important determinants of how complex microbial communities and their interaction networks evolve in natural habitats. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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