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Catabolism of aromatic β-glucosides by bacteria can lead to antibiotics resistance

Vashishtha, K and Mahadevan, S (2020) Catabolism of aromatic β-glucosides by bacteria can lead to antibiotics resistance. In: Archives of Microbiology . (In Press)

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00203-020-01836-9


Antimicrobial resistance is a serious public health threat worldwide today. Escherichia coli is known to resist low doses of antibiotics in the presence of sodium salicylate and related compounds by mounting non-heritable transient phenotypic antibiotic resistance (PAR). In the present study, we demonstrate that Bgl+ bacterial strains harboring a functional copy of the β-glucoside (bgl) operon and are actively hydrolyzing plant-derived aromatic β-glucosides such as salicin show PAR to low doses of antibiotics. The aglycone released during metabolism of aromatic β-glucosides is responsible for conferring this phenotype by de-repressing the multiple antibiotics resistance (mar) operon. We also show that prolonged exposure of Bgl+ bacteria to aromatic β-glucosides in the presence of sub-lethal doses of antibiotics can lead to a significant increase in the frequency of mutants that show heritable resistance to higher doses of antibiotics. Although heritable drug resistance in many cases is known to reduce the fitness of the carrier strain, we did not see a cost associated with resistance in the mutants, most of which carry clinically relevant mutations. These findings indicate that the presence of the activated form of the bgl operon in the genome facilitates the survival of bacteria in environments in which both aromatic β-glucosides and antibiotics are present.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Archives of Microbiology
Publisher: Springer
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Springer
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2020 09:23
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 09:23
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/64992

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