New insights into a surprisingly flexible immune system present in bacteria for combating viruses and other foreign DNA invaders have been revealed by Peter Fineran and collaborators in the Netherlands.
Peter Fineran and his group are studying the genetic basis of adaptive immunity in bacteria that cause potato 'soft rot' and in E. coli bacteria. Through their recent collaboration they have found that these bacterial immune systems are much more robust and responsive than previously thought.
Their latest findings, which appear in the leading US journal PNAS, have implications for improving our understanding of bacterial evolution, including the spread of antibiotic resistance genes. For the full story click here.