Fitness costs of plasmids: A limit to plasmid transmission
San Millan A., Maclean RC.
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