DOI: 10.1101/487884Dec 5, 2018Paper

CRISPR spacers indicate preferential matching of specific virioplankton genes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Daniel J NaskoK Eric Wommack

Abstract

Viral infection exerts selection pressure on marine microbes as viral-induced cell lysis causes 20 to 50% of cell mortality resulting in fluxes of biomass into oceanic dissolved organic matter. Archaeal and bacterial populations can defend against viral infection using the CRISPR-Cas system which relies on specific matching between a spacer sequence and a viral gene. If a CRISPR spacer match to any gene within a viral genome is equally effective in preventing lysis, then no viral genes should be preferentially matched by CRISPR spacers. However, if there are differences in effectiveness then certain viral genes may demonstrate a greater frequency of CRISPR spacer matches. Indeed, homology search analyses of bacterioplankton CRISPR spacer sequences against virioplankton sequences revealed preferential matching of replication proteins, nucleic acid binding proteins, and viral structural proteins. Positive selection pressure for effective viral defense is one parsimonious explanation for these observations. CRISPR spacers from virioplankton metagenomes preferentially matched methyltransferase and phage integrase genes within virioplankton sequences. These viriolankton CRISPR spacers may assist infected host cells in defending agai...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Bacteriophages
Genes
Genes, Viral
Methyltransferase
Viral Genome
Viral Structural Proteins
Virus Diseases
Nucleic acid binding protein
Virus-host Interaction
Analysis

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