Monday, March 9, 2020

BacterioFiles 417 - Bacteriophage Blocks Bacterial Bouncers

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
By Y_tambe, CC BY-SA 3.0
This episode: A phage defends its genome against bacterial host defenses by building a wall to keep them out!

Download Episode (7.0 MB, 10.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Myroides odoratus and M. odoratimimus

News item

Parasites and their hosts are constantly in arms races with each other, each thriving best when it acquires new and more effective methods of attack, defenses, defenses against defenses, and so on. Bacterial defenses against viruses that infect them mostly involve cutting up viral genomes, either by the indiscriminate specific-cutting restriction enzymes, or by adaptive, sequence-sensing CRISPR/Cas systems.

Bacteriophages have proteins that can defend against the CRISPR/Cas system, but they mostly require the sacrifice of multiple failed infections before the proteins build up enough to defeat the defense. In this study, a phage is discovered that can immediately defend against all DNA-cutting systems, by constructing a nucleus-like protective compartment inside the host.

Journal Paper:
Mendoza SD, Nieweglowska ES, Govindarajan S, Leon LM, Berry JD, Tiwari A, Chaikeeratisak V, Pogliano J, Agard DA, Bondy-Denomy J. 2020. A bacteriophage nucleus-like compartment shields DNA from CRISPR nucleases. Nature 577:244–248.

Other interesting stories:

Post questions or comments here or email to Thanks for listening!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment