Temporal encoding of bacterial identity and traits in growth dynamics.
In biology, it is often critical to determine the identity of an organism and phenotypic traits of interest. Whole-genome sequencing can be useful for this but has limited power for trait prediction. However, we can take advantage of the inherent information content of phenotypes to bypass these limitations. We demonstrate, in clinical and environmental bacterial isolates, that growth dynamics in standardized conditions can differentiate between genotypes, even among strains from the same species. We find that for pairs of isolates, there is little correlation between genetic distance, according to phylogenetic analysis, and phenotypic distance, as determined by growth dynamics. This absence of correlation underscores the challenge in using genomics to infer phenotypes and vice versa. Bypassing this complexity, we show that growth dynamics alone can robustly predict antibiotic responses. These findings are a foundation for a method to identify traits not easily traced to a genetic mechanism.
Zhang, C; Song, W; Ma, HR; Peng, X; Anderson, DJ; Fowler, VG; Thaden, JT; Xiao, M; You, L
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