Primitive bacteria have used CRISPR for battles with each other for millions of years | FREE NEWS

Primitive bacteria have used CRISPR for battles with each other for millions of years

Primitive bacteria have used CRISPR for battles with each other for millions of years. This conclusion was made by scientists from the University of Copenhagen, who studied plasmids that parasitize on larger and more developed bacteria. The work was published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

CRISPR is a method that allows for highly accurate and fast modification of DNA in the genome, with which any set of genetic instructions in the body can be set.

“Until recently, CRISPR-Cas was thought to be a protective system used by bacteria to protect against the invasion of parasites such as viruses, just as our own immune system protects us. However, it seems that CRISPR is a tool that biological objects can use for various purposes”.

Rafael Pinilla-Redondo, lead author of the study

One of these biological objects is plasmids – small DNA molecules that often behave like parasites and need a host bacterium to survive.

“In a new study, we found evidence that some plasmids use CRISPR-Cas type IV systems to control other plasmids competing for the same bacterial host”.

Rafael Pinilla-Redondo, lead author of the study

A detailed study of the mechanism that plasmids use to fight each other will help to combat one of the main threats – antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the authors of the study say.