Supplementary material from "Aquaculture as a source of empirical evidence for coevolution between CRISPR-Cas and phage"

Published on 2019-03-13T13:12:12Z (GMT) by
So far, studies on the bacterial immune system CRISPR-Cas and its ecological and evolutionary effects have been largely limited to laboratory conditions. While providing crucial information on the constituents of CRISPR-Cas, such studies may overlook fundamental components that affect bacterial immunity in natural habitats. Translating laboratory-derived predictions to nature is not a trivial task, owing partly to the instability of natural communities and difficulties in repeated sampling. To this end, we review how aquaculture, the farming of fishes and other aquatic species, may provide suitable semi-natural laboratories for examining the role of CRISPR-Cas in phage/bacterium coevolution. Existing data from disease surveillance conducted in aquaculture, coupled with growing interest towards phage therapy, may have already resulted in large collections of bacterium and phage isolates. These data, combined with premeditated efforts, can provide empirical evidence on phage–bacterium dynamics such as the bacteriophage adherence to mucus hypothesis, phage life cycles and their relationship with CRISPR-Cas and other immune defences. Typing of CRISPR spacer content in pathogenic bacteria can also provide practical information on diversity and origin of isolates during outbreaks. In addition to providing information of CRISPR functionality and phage–bacterium dynamics, aquaculture systems can significantly impact perspectives on design of phage-based disease treatment at the current era of increasing antibiotic resistance.This article is part of the theme issue ‘The ecology and evolution of prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems’.

Cite this collection

Hoikkala, Ville; M. F. Almeida, Gabriel; Laanto, Elina; Sundberg, Lotta-Riina (2019): Supplementary material from "Aquaculture as a source of empirical evidence for coevolution between CRISPR-Cas and phage". The Royal Society. Collection.