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Data from: Ecology determines how low antibiotic concentration impacts community composition and horizontal transfer of resistance genes

Citation

Cairns, Johannes et al. (2019), Data from: Ecology determines how low antibiotic concentration impacts community composition and horizontal transfer of resistance genes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5756sg0

Abstract

Low concentrations of antibiotics have numerous effects on bacteria. However, it is unknown whether ecological factors such as trophic interactions and spatial structuring influence the effects of low concentrations of antibiotics on multispecies microbial communities. Here, we address this question by investigating the effects of low antibiotic concentration on community composition and horizontal transfer of an antibiotic resistance plasmid in a 62-strain bacterial community in response to manipulation of the spatial environment and presence of predation. The strong effects of antibiotic treatment on community composition depend on the presence of predation and spatial structuring that have strong community effects on their own. Overall, we find plasmid transfer to diverse recipient taxa. Plasmid transfer is likely to occur to abundant strains, occurs to a higher number of strains in the presence of antibiotic, and also occurs to low-abundance strains in the presence of spatial structures. These results fill knowledge gaps concerning the effects of low antibiotic concentrations in complex ecological settings.

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