Research report 2020 - Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology

Population genetic models for the evolution of antibiotic resistance

Uecker, Hildegard; Santer, Mario
Forschungsgruppe Stochastische Evolutionäre Dynamik
How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics? Often, extra-DNA, so-called plasmids, that bacteria carry in addition to their chromosomes plays an important role. At cell division, the plasmids are passed on to the daughter cells, however not neatly, but with some randomness. Stochastic models can elegantly describe this process over many generations, contributing to a clear picture of the dynamics of plasmid-encoded genes, for example resistance genes. This knowledge is the basis for influencing the evolution of bacterial populations and preventing the emergence of resistance.

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