Research Article

Systematic discovery of antiphage defense systems in the microbial pangenome

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  25 Jan 2018:
eaar4120
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar4120

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

The arms race between bacteria and phages led to the development of sophisticated antiphage defense systems, including CRISPR-Cas and restriction-modification systems. Evidence suggests that unknown defense systems are located in “defense islands” in microbial genomes. We comprehensively characterized the bacterial defensive arsenal by examining gene families that are clustered next to known defense genes in prokaryotic genomes. Candidate defense systems were systematically engineered and validated in model bacteria for their antiphage activities. We report nine previously unknown antiphage systems and one antiplasmid system that are widespread in microbes and strongly protect against foreign invaders. These include systems that adopted components of the bacterial flagella and condensin complexes. Our data also suggest a common, ancient ancestry of innate immunity components shared between animals, plants, and bacteria.

View Full Text