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Bacterial sex in dental plaque.

Olsen I, Tribble GD, Fiehn NE, Wang BY - J Oral Microbiol (2013)

Bottom Line: DNA transfer is considered bacterial sex, but the transfer is not parallel to processes that we associate with sex in higher organisms.The transferred DNA can be integrated or recombined in the recipient's chromosome or remain as an extrachromosomal inheritable element.The ability to transfer DNA is important for bacteria, making them better adapted to the harsh environment of the human mouth, and promoting their survival, virulence, and pathogenicity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral Biology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

ABSTRACT
Genes are transferred between bacteria in dental plaque by transduction, conjugation, and transformation. Membrane vesicles can also provide a mechanism for horizontal gene transfer. DNA transfer is considered bacterial sex, but the transfer is not parallel to processes that we associate with sex in higher organisms. Several examples of bacterial gene transfer in the oral cavity are given in this review. How frequently this occurs in dental plaque is not clear, but evidence suggests that it affects a number of the major genera present. It has been estimated that new sequences in genomes established through horizontal gene transfer can constitute up to 30% of bacterial genomes. Gene transfer can be both inter- and intrageneric, and it can also affect transient organisms. The transferred DNA can be integrated or recombined in the recipient's chromosome or remain as an extrachromosomal inheritable element. This can make dental plaque a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance genes. The ability to transfer DNA is important for bacteria, making them better adapted to the harsh environment of the human mouth, and promoting their survival, virulence, and pathogenicity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Scanning electron micrograph of a multispecies subgingival biofilm in vivo from adult periodontitis. Bar=5 µm. Courtesy of Steinar Stølen.
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Figure 0002: Scanning electron micrograph of a multispecies subgingival biofilm in vivo from adult periodontitis. Bar=5 µm. Courtesy of Steinar Stølen.

Mentions: Dental plaque is a biofilm consisting of multiple bacterial species (Fig. 2). Since the tooth surface is nonshedding, this biofilm is actually the most diverse one in the human body in terms of microorganisms. With pyrosequencing, which detects even rare organisms at low concentrations, 1000 species have been found in plaque (23). This is in contrast to the previous estimate of more than 500 species in the dental biofilm (24). With these large numbers of bacteria in constant contact with each other, and with other bacteria transiently passing through the oral cavity, the potential for gene transfer is high. Recent metagenomic and bioinformatic studies have confirmed that horizontal DNA transfer is a common occurrence in human microbiota, and bacteria of the oral cavity are major players in this process (25, 26). In fact, horizontal DNA transfer was detected as commonly occurring between members of the oral microbiota and other bacteria in the body, especially those in the intestine such as the Bacteroides. As the oral cavity is the entry point for the entire digestive tract, oral bacteria will be in contact not only with other oral bacteria but also with intestinal bacteria that are transiently passing through the mouth and environmental bacteria that are present in food and drink products. As such, the oral microbiota could represent a reservoir for the exchange of virulence genes, such as genes for antibiotic resistance.


Bacterial sex in dental plaque.

Olsen I, Tribble GD, Fiehn NE, Wang BY - J Oral Microbiol (2013)

Scanning electron micrograph of a multispecies subgingival biofilm in vivo from adult periodontitis. Bar=5 µm. Courtesy of Steinar Stølen.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672468&req=5

Figure 0002: Scanning electron micrograph of a multispecies subgingival biofilm in vivo from adult periodontitis. Bar=5 µm. Courtesy of Steinar Stølen.
Mentions: Dental plaque is a biofilm consisting of multiple bacterial species (Fig. 2). Since the tooth surface is nonshedding, this biofilm is actually the most diverse one in the human body in terms of microorganisms. With pyrosequencing, which detects even rare organisms at low concentrations, 1000 species have been found in plaque (23). This is in contrast to the previous estimate of more than 500 species in the dental biofilm (24). With these large numbers of bacteria in constant contact with each other, and with other bacteria transiently passing through the oral cavity, the potential for gene transfer is high. Recent metagenomic and bioinformatic studies have confirmed that horizontal DNA transfer is a common occurrence in human microbiota, and bacteria of the oral cavity are major players in this process (25, 26). In fact, horizontal DNA transfer was detected as commonly occurring between members of the oral microbiota and other bacteria in the body, especially those in the intestine such as the Bacteroides. As the oral cavity is the entry point for the entire digestive tract, oral bacteria will be in contact not only with other oral bacteria but also with intestinal bacteria that are transiently passing through the mouth and environmental bacteria that are present in food and drink products. As such, the oral microbiota could represent a reservoir for the exchange of virulence genes, such as genes for antibiotic resistance.

Bottom Line: DNA transfer is considered bacterial sex, but the transfer is not parallel to processes that we associate with sex in higher organisms.The transferred DNA can be integrated or recombined in the recipient's chromosome or remain as an extrachromosomal inheritable element.The ability to transfer DNA is important for bacteria, making them better adapted to the harsh environment of the human mouth, and promoting their survival, virulence, and pathogenicity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral Biology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

ABSTRACT
Genes are transferred between bacteria in dental plaque by transduction, conjugation, and transformation. Membrane vesicles can also provide a mechanism for horizontal gene transfer. DNA transfer is considered bacterial sex, but the transfer is not parallel to processes that we associate with sex in higher organisms. Several examples of bacterial gene transfer in the oral cavity are given in this review. How frequently this occurs in dental plaque is not clear, but evidence suggests that it affects a number of the major genera present. It has been estimated that new sequences in genomes established through horizontal gene transfer can constitute up to 30% of bacterial genomes. Gene transfer can be both inter- and intrageneric, and it can also affect transient organisms. The transferred DNA can be integrated or recombined in the recipient's chromosome or remain as an extrachromosomal inheritable element. This can make dental plaque a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance genes. The ability to transfer DNA is important for bacteria, making them better adapted to the harsh environment of the human mouth, and promoting their survival, virulence, and pathogenicity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus