Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 541531
Title Bioinformatic evidence of widespread priming in type I and II CRISPR-Cas systems
Author(s) Nicholson, Thomas J.; Jackson, Simon A.; Croft, Bradley I.; Staals, Raymond H.J.; Fineran, Peter C.; Brown, Chris M.
Source RNA Biology (2018). - ISSN 1547-6286
Department(s) Microbiological Laboratory
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) adaptation - adaptive immunity - CRISPR-Cas - primed - priming - spacer acquisition

CRISPR-Cas systems provide bacteria and archaea with adaptive immunity against invading genetic elements, such as plasmids, bacteriophages and archaeal viruses. They consist of cas genes and CRISPR loci, which store genetic memories of previously encountered invaders as short sequences termed spacers. Spacers determine the specificity of CRISPR-Cas defence and immunity can be gained or updated by the addition of new spacers into CRISPR loci. There are two main routes to spacer acquisition, which are known as naïve and primed CRISPR adaptation. Naïve CRISPR adaptation involves the de novo formation of immunity, independent of pre-existing spacers. In contrast, primed CRISPR adaptation (priming) uses existing spacers to enhance the acquisition of new spacers. Priming typically results in spacer acquisition from locations near the site of target recognition by the existing (priming) spacer. Primed CRISPR adaptation has been observed in several type I CRISPR-Cas systems and it is potentially widespread. However, experimental evidence is unavailable for some subtypes, and for most systems, priming has only been shown in a small number of hosts. There is also no current evidence of priming by other CRISPR-Cas types. Here, we used a bioinformatic approach to search for evidence of priming in diverse CRISPR-Cas systems. By analysing the clustering of spacers acquired from phages, prophages and archaeal viruses, including strand and directional biases between subsequently acquired spacers, we demonstrate that two patterns of primed CRISPR adaptation dominate in type I systems. In addition, we find evidence of a priming-like pathway in type II CRISPR-Cas systems.

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