Edze Westra (ESI, UoE), 31 May 2017:

Evolutionary ecology of bacterial immune mechanisms

Bacteria have a range of sophisticated immune mechanisms to protect against virus infections, but it is unclear why all these different mechanisms evolved in the first place. Under laboratory conditions, bacteria typically evolve de novo virus resistance using either surface modification or CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems. In this talk I will discuss ecological factors that can tip the balance in the evolution of these two immune mechanisms and examine their distinct co-evolutionary implications.