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The enemy from within: a prophage of Roseburia intestinalis systematically turns lytic in the mouse gut, driving bacterial adaptation by CRISPR spacer acquisition

Abstract : Despite an overall temporal stability in time of the human gut microbiota at the phylum level, strong variations in species abundance have been observed. We are far from a clear understanding of what promotes or disrupts the stability of microbiome communities. Environmental factors, like food or antibiotic use, modify the gut microbiota composition, but their overall impacts remain relatively low. Phages, the viruses that infect bacteria, might constitute important factors explaining temporal variations in species abundance. Gut bacteria harbour numerous prophages, or dormant viruses, which can evolve to become ultravirulent phage mutants, potentially leading to important bacterial death. Whether such phenomenon occurs in the mammal’s microbiota has been largely unexplored. Here we studied temperate phage–bacteria coevolution in gnotoxenic mice colonised with Roseburia intestinalis, a dominant symbiont of the human gut microbiota, and Escherichia coli, a sub-dominant member of the same microbiota. We show that R. intestinalis L1-82 harbours two active prophages, Jekyll and Shimadzu. We observed the systematic evolution in mice of ultravirulent Shimadzu phage mutants, which led to a collapse of R. intestinalis population. In a second step, phage infection drove the fast counterevolution of host phage resistance mainly through phage-derived spacer acquisition in a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats array. Alternatively, phage resistance was conferred by a prophage originating from an ultravirulent phage with a restored ability to lysogenize. Our results demonstrate that prophages are a potential source of ultravirulent phages that can successfully infect most of the susceptible bacteria. This suggests that prophages can play important roles in the short-term temporal variations observed in the composition of the gut microbiota.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02504597
Contributor : Archive Ouverte Prodinra <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 8:08:56 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 11:18:03 AM

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Jeffrey Cornuault, Elisabeth Moncaut, Valentin Loux, Aurélie Mathieu, Harry Sokol, et al.. The enemy from within: a prophage of Roseburia intestinalis systematically turns lytic in the mouse gut, driving bacterial adaptation by CRISPR spacer acquisition. ISME Journal, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 14 (3), pp.771-787. ⟨10.1038/s41396-019-0566-x⟩. ⟨hal-02504597⟩

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