Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers unlock a secret of bacteria's immune system

Date:
November 13, 2010
Source:
Université Laval
Summary:
Researchers have unlocked a secret of bacteria's immune system. The discovery may eventually make it possible to prevent certain bacteria from developing resistance to antibiotics. The scientists showed that this mechanism, called CRISPR/Cas, works by selecting foreign DNA segments and inserting them into very specific locations in a bacterium's genome.

A team of Université Laval and Danisco researchers has unlocked a secret of bacteria's immune system. The details of the discovery, which may eventually make it possible to prevent certain bacteria from developing resistance to antibiotics, are presented in the Nov. 4 issue of the journal Nature.

Related Articles


The team led by Professor Sylvain Moineau of Université Laval's Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Bioinformatics showed that this mechanism, called CRISPR/Cas, works by selecting foreign DNA segments and inserting them into very specific locations in a bacterium's genome. These segments then serve as a kind of immune factor in fighting off future invasions by cleaving incoming DNA.

The researchers demonstrated this mechanism using plasmids, DNA molecules that are regularly exchanged by bacteria. The plasmid used in the experiment, which contained a gene for antibiotic resistance, was inserted into bacteria used in making yogurt, Streptococcus thermophilus. Some of the bacteria integrated the segments of DNA from the resistance gene into their genome, and subsequent attempts to reinsert the plasmid into these bacteria failed. "These bacteria had simply been immunized against acquiring the resistance gene, commented Professor Moineau. This phenomenon could explain, among other things, why some bacteria develop antibiotic resistance while others don't."

The CRISPR/Cas immune system also protects bacteria from bacteriophages, a group of viruses that specifically target bacteria. This makes Professor Moineau's discovery particularly interesting for food and biotechnology sectors that use bacterial cultures, such as the yogurt, cheese, and probiotics industries. Bacterial culture contamination by bacteriophages is a serious concern with considerable financial implications for those industries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université Laval. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Josiane E. Garneau, Marie-Čve Dupuis, Manuela Villion, Dennis A. Romero, Rodolphe Barrangou, Patrick Boyaval, Christophe Fremaux, Philippe Horvath, Alfonso H. Magadán, Sylvain Moineau. The CRISPR/Cas bacterial immune system cleaves bacteriophage and plasmid DNA. Nature, 2010; 468 (7320): 67 DOI: 10.1038/nature09523

Cite This Page:

Université Laval. "Researchers unlock a secret of bacteria's immune system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104154545.htm>.
Université Laval. (2010, November 13). Researchers unlock a secret of bacteria's immune system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104154545.htm
Université Laval. "Researchers unlock a secret of bacteria's immune system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104154545.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) — A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) — Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins