Poster Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

Adaptive Landscapes of Resistant Genes change as Antibiotic Concentration Changes   (#580)

Portia Mira 1 , Miriam Barlow 1 , Juan Meza 1
  1. UC Merced, Merced, C, United States

Most studies about the evolution of antibiotic-resistance are focused on selection for resistance at lethal antibiotic concentrations (Hughes, Andersson 2012), which has allowed the detection of mutant strains that show strong phenotypic traits. However, solely focusing on lethal concentrations of antibiotics narrowly limits our perspective of antibiotic resistance evolution. New high-resolution competition assays have shown that resistant bacteria are selected at relatively low concentrations of antibiotics (Hughes, Andersson 2012). This finding is important because, sub-lethal concentrations of antibiotics are found widely in non-medical conditions, such as wastewater treatment plants, and food and water used in agriculture and farming. To understand the impacts of sub-lethal concentrations on selection we computed thirty adaptive landscapes for a set of TEM β-lactamases containing all combinations of the four amino acid substitutions that exist in TEM-50 for 15 β-lactams at multiple concentrations. We found that there are many evolutionary pathways within this collection of landscapes that lead to nearly every TEM-genotype that we studiedWhile it is known that the pathways change depending on the type of β-lactam, this study demonstrates that the landscapes also change dramatically as the concentrations of antibiotics change. Based on these results we conclude that the presence of multiple concentrations of β-lactams in an environment likely accelerates the selection of numerous TEM variant genotypes within that environment.