Data from: Conjugation is necessary for a bacterial plasmid to survive under protozoan predation
Cairns, Johannes et al. (2016), Data from: Conjugation is necessary for a bacterial plasmid to survive under protozoan predation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t1b23
Horizontal gene transfer by conjugative plasmids plays a critical role in the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Interactions between bacteria and other organisms can affect the persistence and spread of conjugative plasmids. Here we show that protozoan predation increased the persistence and spread of the antibiotic resistance plasmid RP4 in populations of the opportunist bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens. A conjugation-defective mutant plasmid was unable to survive under predation, suggesting that conjugative transfer is required for plasmid persistence under the realistic condition of predation. These results indicate that multi-trophic interactions can affect the maintenance of conjugative plasmids with implications for bacterial evolution and the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.