Dynamics of virus-microbe symbiosis in natural microbial metapopulations

Rachel Whitaker

Rachel Whitaker

School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois, USA 

Le vendredi 4 Octobre 2019 - 11h30 Grand salle réunion du CEFE, 1919 route de Mende

Viruses reside in every cellular genome.  In addition to lytic killing of microbial hosts, rapid cellular evolution is promoted by latent viruses encoding transiently adaptive and often strongly selected traits.  Viruses therefore possess a dual nature, acting as semi-autonomous entities in both the ecological (interactions between species) and evolutionary (change within species) realms.  Microbial CRISPR-Cas adaptive immunity allows for the tracking of virus-host interactions in natural populations and shapes the interactions between viruses and their microbial hosts.  I will present data on the structure of immunity in archaeal (Sulfolobus islandicus) and bacterial (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) populations. In this context, I will provide experimental results on the ways in which co-evolution has shaped the interaction between CRISPR-Cas immunity and viral symbiosis.

Recent publications:

  1. Pauly Matthew D., Bautista Maria A., Black Jesse A., and Whitaker Rachel J. “Diversified Local CRISPR-Cas Immunity to Viruses of Sulfolobus Islandicus.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 374, no. 1772 (May 13, 2019): 20180093. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2018.0093.
  2. England, Whitney E., Ted Kim, and Rachel J. Whitaker. “Metapopulation Structure of CRISPR-Cas Immunity in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Its Viruses.” MSystems 3, no. 5 (October 30, 2018): e00075-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/mSystems.00075-18.
  3. Childs, Lauren M., Whitney E. England, Mark J. Young, Joshua S. Weitz, and Rachel J. Whitaker. “CRISPR-Induced Distributed Immunity in Microbial Populations.” PLOS ONE 9, no. 7 (July 7, 2014): e101710. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101710.

Contact: Sylvain Gandon

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