About this Research Topic
Mobile elements, such as plasmids, prophages, pathogenicity islands, restriction and modification systems, transposons among others, are able to move within the host genome as well as jump across genomes, shaping and co-evolving with chromosomal genomes. Mobile elements can change their insertion location and copy number, provide new gene functions or affect chromosomal gene expression. Together, this set of all mobile elements constitute the bacterial mobilome.
Mobile elements are diverse in their nature, strategy of preservation in the host genome and mechanisms of transfer among genomes. The democratization of Next Generation Sequencing is increasingly augmenting the number of whole-genomes available, which allows for a better understanding of the true dimension of the bacterial mobilome. Genome evolution reflects the changes occurring in the genome composition and organization of a species. Mobile elements are known to potentiate gene gain and loss, a major force that can profoundly change bacterial fitness. This change can contribute to the genetic adaptation to new environments and the emergence of divergent bacterial populations that may produce evolutionary distinct species. However, the mechanisms of persistence and interaction of mobile elements with the host and the impact of mobile elements in bacterial evolution and adaptability remain poorly understood.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Methods articles focusing on the following:
• Characteristics and detection methods, taking into consideration aspects such as, but not limited to, the genetic composition of the mobile element, the prevalence of occurrence in a species, the biological function and the bioinformatics tools or wet lab tools used to identify mobile elements;
• Comparative genomics of mobile elements;
• Biotechnology applications, such as use of mobile elements for gene delivery, use of mobile elements genes such as lysins for phage therapy, among others applications;
• Role of bacterial mobile elements in bacterial evolution and adaptability.
Keywords: Mobile Elements, plasmids, pro(phages), transposons, insertion sequences, pathogenicity islands, mobilome, evolution, fitness, adaptability
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