Plasmids play an important role in driving the genetic diversity of bacteria. Horizontal gene transfer via plasmids is crucial for the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes. Many factors contribute to the persistence of plasmids within bacterial populations, and it has been suggested that epistatic interactions between the host chromosome and plasmid contribute to the fitness of a particular plasmid-host combination. However, such interactions have been shown to differ between bacterial hosts. In this study, RNA-Seq was performed in six different strains, spanning three species, to characterize the influence of host background on the A/C2 plasmid transcriptome. In five of these strains, chromosomal transcriptomes were compared in the presence and absence of A/C2 plasmid pAR060302. Host-specific effects on plasmid gene expression were identified, and acquisition of pAR060302 resulted in changes in the expression of chromosomal genes involved in metabolism and energy production. These results suggest that A/C2 plasmid fitness is, in part, dependent on host chromosome content, as well as environmental factors.
- Gene expression