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Bacterial evolution: Resistance is a numbers game

Plasmids are well known for spreading antibiotic-resistance genes between bacterial strains. Recent experiments show that they can also act as catalysts for evolutionary innovation, promoting rapid evolution of novel antibiotic resistance.

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Figure 1: Comparing the adaptive potential of a resistance gene carried on the chromosome, on a multicopy plasmid and, hypothetically, in multiple copies on the chromosome.


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Correspondence to Ellie Harrison.

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Hall, J., Harrison, E. Bacterial evolution: Resistance is a numbers game. Nat Microbiol 1, 16235 (2016).

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