Extracellular Vesicles from 50,000 Generation Clones of the Escherichia coli Long-Term Evolution Experiment
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are critical elements of cell–cell communication. Here, we characterized the outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) released by specific clones of Escherichia coli isolated from the Long-Term Evolution Experiment after 50,000 generations (50K) of adaptation to glucose minimal medium. Compared with their ancestor, the evolved clones produce small OMVs but also larger ones which display variable amounts of both OmpA and LPS. Tracking ancestral, fluorescently labelled OMVs revealed that they fuse with both ancestral- and 50K-evolved cells, albeit in different proportions. We quantified that less than 2% of the cells from one 50K-evolved clone acquired the fluorescence delivered by OMVs from the ancestral strain but that one cell concomitantly fuses with several OMVs. Globally, our results showed that OMV production in E. coli is a phenotype that varies along bacterial evolution and question the contribution of OMVs-mediated interactions in bacterial adaptation.