Multi-layered genome defences in bacteria

Aleksei Agapov, Kate S. Baker, Paritosh Bedekar, Rama P. Bhatia, Tim R. Blower, Michael A. Brockhurst, Cooper Brown, Charlotte E. Chong, Joanne L. Fothergill, Shirley Graham, James PJ Hall, Alice Maestri, Stuart McQuarrie, Anna Olina, Stefano Pagliara, Mario Recker, Anna Richmond, Steven J. Shaw, Mark D. Szczelkun, Tiffany B. TaylorStineke van Houte, Sam C. Went, Edze R. Westra, Malcolm F. White, Rosanna Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bacteria have evolved a variety of defence mechanisms to protect against mobile genetic elements, including restriction-modification systems and CRISPR–Cas. In recent years, dozens of previously unknown defence systems (DSs) have been discovered. Notably, diverse DSs often coexist within the same genome, and some co-occur at frequencies significantly higher than would be expected by chance, implying potential synergistic interactions. Recent studies have provided evidence of defence mechanisms that enhance or complement one another. Here, we review the interactions between DSs at the mechanistic, regulatory, ecological and evolutionary levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102436
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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