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Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a key source of genetic diversity in bacteria ( ), and plasmids are one of the main vehicles driving this process ( ). Plasmids are widely distributed across prokaryotes, and help bacteria adapt to a myriad of different environments, conditions, and stresses ( , ), playing a key role in bacterial ecology and evolution ( - ). The most vivid testimony to the power of plasmids as catalysts for bacterial adaptation is their role in the spread of antibiotic resistance among clinical pathogens ( ), which has emerged as a major health problem over the past decades ( ). 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9

Original publication





Book title

Microbial Transmission

Publication Date



65 - 79