Abstracts (first author)


Phage response to prokaryotic CRISPR defense

Author(s): Westra E, Hoegh S, Van Sluijs L, Buckling A


Adaptive immune systems in prokaryotes are centered around repetitive loci called CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat), into which invader DNA fragments are incorporated (reviewed in [1]). CRISPR transcripts are processed into small RNAs that guide CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins to invading nucleic acids by complementary base pairing [2,3]. Mobile genetic elements that have been incorporated into the CRISPR blacklist can escape host defense through point mutagenesis [4,5]. Escape mutagenesis induces a secondary immune response leading to rapid incorporation of new invader DNA fragments into the CRISPR locus [6]. MGE’s can also escape CRISPR-immunity through alternative escape routes, including (partial) deletions of target sequences from their genome [4,5] and expressing CRISPR suppressors [7]. These features lead to a complex and dynamic co-evolutionary arms race. During this presentation, first the insights gained into the molecular mechanism of this intriguing immune system will be briefly discussed [2,3,5,8], followed by a discussion of the role of CRISPR in bacteria-phage co-evolution ([4] and unpublished data).

References: 1. Westra ER, et al. (2012) Annu Rev Genet 46: 311-339. 2. Brouns SJJ, et al. (2008) Science 321: 960-964. 3. Jore MM, et al. (2011) Nat Struct Mol Biol 18: 529-536. 4. Semenova E, et al. (2011) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108: 10098-10103. 5. Westra ER, et al. (2012) Mol Cell 46: 595-605. 6. Datsenko KA, et al. (2012) Nat Commun 3: 945. 7. Bondy-Denomy J, et al. (2012) Nature 493:429-32. 8. Westra ER, et al. (2012) RNA Biol 9.


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XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group