Application of high resolution melting assay (HRM) to study temperature-dependent intraspecific competition in a pathogenic bacterium
Ashrafi, R., Bruneaux, M., Sundberg, L.-R., Pulkkinen, K., & Ketola, T. (2017). Application of high resolution melting assay (HRM) to study temperature-dependent intraspecific competition in a pathogenic bacterium. Scientific Reports, 7, 980. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01074-y
Published inScientific Reports
© the Authors, 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Studies on species’ responses to climate change have focused largely on the direct effect of abiotic factors and in particular temperature, neglecting the effects of biotic interactions in determining the outcome of climate change projections. Many microbes rely on strong interference competition; hence the fitness of many pathogenic bacteria could be a function of both their growth properties and intraspecific competition. However, due to technical challenges in distinguishing and tracking individual strains, experimental evidence on intraspecific competition has been limited so far. Here, we developed a robust application of the high-resolution melting (HRM) assay to study head-tohead competition between mixed genotype co-cultures of a waterborne bacterial pathogen of fish, Flavobacterium columnare, at two different temperatures. We found that competition outcome in liquid cultures seemed to be well predicted by growth yield of isolated strains, but was mostly inconsistent with interference competition results measured in inhibition tests on solid agar, especially as no growth inhibition between strain pairs was detected at the higher temperature. These results suggest that, for a given temperature, the factors driving competition outcome differ between liquid and solid environments. ...