Mobile Genetic Elements

Dissemination of physiologically important traits between different hosts and environments can create new phenotypes, shape microbial composition and strongly contribute to health and disease in humans and animals. Particularly traits encoded on integrons, transposons, plasmids, and bacteriophages are highly dynamic because these mobile genetic elements (MGE) transmit with ease and result in extensive gene flow. The most prominent example is the spread of antimicrobial resistance genes through different hosts and environments. We develop novel methods to reconstruct dissemination networks of mobile genes (including antimicrobial resistance genes) from metagenomic data.