Phylogenetic distribution of traits associated with plant colonization in Escherichia coli

Guillaume Méric, E Katherine Kemsley, Daniel Falush, Elizabeth J Saggers, Sacha Lucchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plants are increasingly considered as secondary reservoirs for commensal and pathogenic Escherichia coli strains, but the ecological and functional factors involved in this association are not clear. To address this question, we undertook a comparative approach combining phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses of E. coli isolates from crops and mammalian hosts. Phenotypic profiling revealed significant differences according to the source of isolation. Notably, isolates from plants displayed higher biofilm and extracellular matrix production and higher frequency of utilization of sucrose and the aromatic compound p-hydroxyphenylacetic acid. However, when compared with mammalian-associated strains, they reached lower growth yields on many C-sources commonly used by E. coli. Strikingly, we observed a strong association between phenotypes and E. coli phylogenetic groups. Strains belonging to phylogroup B1 were more likely to harbour traits indicative of a higher ability to colonize plants, whereas phylogroup A and B2 isolates displayed phenotypes linked to an animal-associated lifestyle. This work provides clear indications that E. coli phylogroups are specifically affected by niche-specific selective pressures, and provides an explanation on why E. coli population structures vary in natural environments, implying that different lineages in E. coli have substantially different transmission ecology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-501
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Fingerprint

colonization
Escherichia coli
phylogenetics
phenotype
phylogeny
commensal
sucrose
lifestyle
biofilm
population structure
niche
harbor
ecology
crop
matrix
animal
Phenotype
acid
Aptitude
Biofilms

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Biodiversity
  • Biofilms
  • Carbon
  • Escherichia coli
  • Escherichia coli Infections
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Metabolome
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Cite this

Phylogenetic distribution of traits associated with plant colonization in Escherichia coli. / Méric, Guillaume; Kemsley, E Katherine; Falush, Daniel; Saggers, Elizabeth J; Lucchini, Sacha.

In: Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 15, No. 2, 02.2013, p. 487-501.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Méric, Guillaume ; Kemsley, E Katherine ; Falush, Daniel ; Saggers, Elizabeth J ; Lucchini, Sacha. / Phylogenetic distribution of traits associated with plant colonization in Escherichia coli. In: Environmental Microbiology. 2013 ; Vol. 15, No. 2. pp. 487-501.
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