Long-term genomic coevolution of host-parasite interaction in the natural environment
Laanto, E., Hoikkala, V., Ravantti, J., & Sundberg, L.-R. (2017). Long-term genomic coevolution of host-parasite interaction in the natural environment. Nature Communications, 8, 111. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00158-7
Published inNature Communications
DisciplineSolu- ja molekyylibiologia
© the Authors, 2017. This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Antagonistic coevolution of parasite infectivity and host resistance may alter the biological functionality of species, yet these dynamics in nature are still poorly understood. Here we show the molecular details of a long-term phage–bacterium arms race in the environment. Bacteria (Flavobacterium columnare) are generally resistant to phages from the past and susceptible to phages isolated in years after bacterial isolation. Bacterial resistance selects for increased phage infectivity and host range, which is also associated with expansion of phage genome size. We identified two CRISPR loci in the bacterial host: a type II-C locus and a type VI-B locus. While maintaining a core set of conserved spacers, phage-matching spacers appear in the variable ends of both loci over time. The spacers mostly target the terminal end of the phage genomes, which also exhibit the most variation across time, resulting in arms-race-like changes in the protospacers of the coevolving phage population.