Detection of spacer precursors formed in vivo during primed CRISPR adaptation

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2019-10-10

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12417-w

Affiliations: 7

Authors: 11

Go to article

Research Highlight

How CRISPR adaption takes shape

© KEITH CHAMBERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© KEITH CHAMBERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

A new technique reveals how bacteria establish immune memory via the type I CRISPR–Cas defence system. The method could help scientists create cells with specific resistance profiles against bacteria-infecting viruses known as phages.

It involves sequencing short DNA strands that accumulate within Escherichia coli cells as they undergo a process called primed adaptation, in which short segments of DNA from pathogens are saved as ‘spacers’ in an immunological database of past invasions.

A team co-led by scientists from the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University developed the method and used it to characterize the nature of short foreign DNA-derived segments before they get incorporated into the CRISPR array as new spacers.

The researchers detailed the characteristic asymmetrical structure found in spacer precursors that allows them to integrate properly into the bacterial genome in an orientation that confers immunity.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 10, 4603 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12417-w
Institutions Share
Waksman Institute of Microbiology, RU, United States of America (USA) 0.22
Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), Russia 0.22
Skoltech Center of Life Sciences, Russia 0.18
Institute of Molecular Genetics (IMG), RAS, Russia 0.15
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBB), RU, United States of America (USA) 0.13
Department of Genetics, RU, United States of America (USA) 0.09

Return