Showing Tag: "genomics" (Show all posts)

Detailed duel between phage(s) and host

Posted by Heather Maughan on Friday, May 15, 2015, In : Phage 
It's not every day we get to see an arms race in action. Every gory detail is laid out by Paez-Espino et al in the March/April issue of mBio*. The authors use deep DNA sequencing to track CRISPR acquisition in the bacterium Streptococcus thermophilus when challenged with Streptococcus phage 2972 (a phage featured in Life in Our Phage World). 

As S. thermophilus evolved in the presence of 2972, its CRISPR loci acquired new spacers employed to recognize future invasions of 2972 phage DNA, thereb...

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Catching phages in the act

Posted by Heather Maughan on Thursday, April 30, 2015, In : Phage 
Phages are everywhere but almost none of them can be easily studied. We can scoop up their DNA (and sometimes RNA), sequence it, and try to put the pieces of their biology together. But often we cannot figure out which bacteria they would infect unless we bring them into the lab, coddle their host into culture, and then experimentally mix the two. Now it is becoming feasible to isolate single bacterial cells to see which phage is lurking within, according to a new publication by Labonte et al...
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Hopeful monsters

Posted by Heather Maughan on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, In : Bacterial evolution 

For centuries scientists have been trying to figure out why some bacteria cause disease, while others are relatively harmless or even beneficial. The search has usually focused on identifying the genetic basis for the ability to cause disease, whether it be the mutation of an existing gene or the gain of a gene via horizontal transfer.  The latter process is (mostly) limited to bacteria, where gene sharing can enable niche exploration and adaptation.

Of special interest is ...


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