1932

Abstract

Mobile genetic elements are key to the evolution of bacteria and traits that affect host and ecosystem health. Here, we use a framework of a hierarchical and modular system that scales from genes to populations to synthesize recent findings on mobile genetic elements (MGEs) of bacteria. Doing so highlights the role that emergent properties of flexibility, robustness, and genetic capacitance of MGEs have on the evolution of bacteria. Some of their traits can be stored, shared, and diversified across different MGEs, taxa of bacteria, and time. Collectively, these properties contribute to maintaining functionality against perturbations while allowing changes to accumulate in order to diversify and give rise to new traits. These properties of MGEs have long challenged our abilities to study them. Implementation of new technologies and strategies allows for MGEs to be analyzed in new and powerful ways.

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2023-09-15
2024-04-22
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