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The evolutionary ecology of bacterial immune mechanisms

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EVOIMMECH project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EVOIMMECH project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EVOIMMECH" about.

abi    force    ecological    sm    novo    abortive    alone    theoretical    tease    environments    protection    specificity    either    apart    argonaute    restriction    sequence    microbial    models    single    prokaryotic    pago    mutualists    first    recipient    infection    resistance    immune    multiple    slow    consistently    data    industry    transcriptomes    drive    viromes    predict    bacteria    mechanisms    pseudomonas    inducible    metagenomes    variants    individual    experiments    host    examine    guide    modification    strategies    mathematical    evolutionary    communities    speed    biologists    evolution    emsp    unclear    dynamics    rapid    manipulations    agriculture    vivo    co    perform    variables    mesocosm    plasmids    fitness    pa14    structure    carry    combination    versus    nature    group    experimentally    share    constitutive    diverse    differ    armamentarium    bacterial    surface    symbiont    vitro    manipulate    immunity    parts    cas    confirm    aeruginosa    heritability    crispr    spatial    stand    benefits    indiscriminate    generate    patterns    combined    drivers    de    species   

Project "EVOIMMECH" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: EXETER
postcode: EX4 4QJ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙498˙337 €
 EC max contribution 1˙498˙337 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UK (EXETER) coordinator 1˙435˙837.00
2    UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO NZ (DUNEDIN) participant 62˙500.00


 Project objective

Bacteria have a range of immune mechanisms, but it is unclear why this diverse armamentarium evolved. The most important immune mechanisms are (1) Surface Modification (SM) (2) Abortive infection (Abi) (3) Restriction Modification (R-M) (4) CRISPR-Cas and (5) prokaryotic Argonaute (pAgo), all of which can occur as stand-alone mechanisms or in combination. The individual mechanisms differ in key aspects, such as their fitness costs (constitutive versus inducible), specificity (indiscriminate versus specific), the recipient of the benefits (individual versus group), the speed of de novo resistance evolution (rapid versus slow), and heritability of immunity. Here I will take a combined in vitro and in vivo approach to tease apart the variables that drive the evolution of these diverse stand-alone and integrated bacterial immune strategies in nature, and examine their associated co-evolutionary dynamics. I focus on three ecological variables that are consistently important in host-symbiont co-evolution: (1) force of infection (2) spatial structure (3) presence of mutualists (plasmids). First, I will perform in vitro manipulations using Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 variants that carry either single or multiple immune mechanisms. Next, I will sequence metagenomes, transcriptomes and viromes of microbial communities from environments that differ in ecological variables that are important in vitro, to examine their importance in vivo. Key ecological mechanisms identified in the first two parts of the project will be used to guide mesocosm experiments to experimentally confirm that these mechanisms are the drivers of the observed patterns of resistance and co-evolution in nature. Finally, I will share my data with mathematical biologists to generate theoretical models to predict and manipulate the evolution of bacterial immune mechanisms, which will facilitate tailored species protection in agriculture and industry.   


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Hélène Chabas, Antoine Nicot, Sean Meaden, Edze R. Westra, Denise M. Tremblay, Léa Pradier, Sébastien Lion, Sylvain Moineau, Sylvain Gandon
Variability in the durability of CRISPR-Cas immunity
published pages: 20180097, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0097
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 374/1772 2019-08-29
2019 Jack Common, Daniel Morley, Edze R. Westra, Stineke van Houte
CRISPR-Cas immunity leads to a coevolutionary arms race between Streptococcus thermophilus and lytic phage
published pages: 20180098, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0098
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 374/1772 2019-08-29
2018 Hélène Chabas, Sébastien Lion, Antoine Nicot, Sean Meaden, Stineke van Houte, Sylvain Moineau, Lindi M. Wahl, Edze R. Westra, Sylvain Gandon
Evolutionary emergence of infectious diseases in heterogeneous host populations
published pages: e2006738, ISSN: 1545-7885, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2006738
PLOS Biology 16/9 2019-08-29
2018 Mariann Landsberger, Sylvain Gandon, Sean Meaden, Clare Rollie, Anne Chevallereau, Hélène Chabas, Angus Buckling, Edze R. Westra, Stineke van Houte
Anti-CRISPR Phages Cooperate to Overcome CRISPR-Cas Immunity
published pages: 908-916.e12, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.058
Cell 174/4 2019-08-29
2018 Jack Common, Edze R. Westra
CRISPR evolution and bacteriophage persistence in the context of population bottlenecks
published pages: 588-594, ISSN: 1547-6286, DOI: 10.1080/15476286.2019.1578608
RNA Biology 16/4 2019-08-29
2019 Anne Chevallereau, Sean Meaden, Stineke van Houte, Edze R. Westra, Clare Rollie
The effect of bacterial mutation rate on the evolution of CRISPR-Cas adaptive immunity
published pages: 20180094, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0094
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 374/1772 2019-08-29
2018 Elizabeth Pursey, David Sünderhauf, William H. Gaze, Edze R. Westra, Stineke van Houte
CRISPR-Cas antimicrobials: Challenges and future prospects
published pages: e1006990, ISSN: 1553-7374, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006990
PLOS Pathogens 14/6 2019-08-29

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