Interrogating the contributions of novel immune systems to anti-phage defense in their native bacterial hosts
Bacteria and phages have been involved in a perpetual arms race, driving the evolution of a diverse arsenal of prokaryotic immune systems and viral countermeasures. Recent discoveries have expanded this arsenal by a wide variety of previously unknown and functional diverse set of bacterial anti-phage defense systems. However, current characterization efforts have focused on systems expressed heterologously. Our goal is to investigate the role of these novel defense systems as part of the anti-viral repertoire in their native host. Doing so allows us to assess the properties of these defense systems in their natural context, providing insights into their interplay with other existing defense mechanisms and how phages can counter or circumvent these defenses. By investigating the anti-phage systems in their native host, we hope to broaden the understanding of antiviral immunity beyond any single defense system.
Prof. Dr. Chase Beisel
Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research Helmholtz Center for Infection Research / University of Würzburg
Matthew C Waller, Josef R Bober, Nikhil U Nair, Chase L Beisel (2017) Toward a genetic tool development pipeline for host-associated bacteria. Current Opinion in Microbiology, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mib.2017.05.006