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Phylogenetic Distribution of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Antibiotic-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

van Belkum, A, Soriaga, LB, LaFave, MC, Akella, S, Veyrieras, J-B, Barbu, EM, Shortridge, D, Blanc, B, Hannum, G, Zambardi, G, Miller, K, Enright, MC, Mugnier, N, Brami, D, Schicklin, S, Felderman, M, Schwartz, AS, Richardson, TH, Peterson, TC, Hubby, B and Cady, KC (2015) Phylogenetic Distribution of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Antibiotic-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. mBio, 6. ISSN 2150-7511

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Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an antibiotic-refractory pathogen with a large genome and extensive genotypic diversity. Historically, P. aeruginosa has been a major model system for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying type I clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein (CRISPR-Cas)-based bacterial immune system function. However, little information on the phylogenetic distribution and potential role of these CRISPR-Cas systems in molding the P. aeruginosa accessory genome and antibiotic resistance elements is known. Computational approaches were used to identify and characterize CRISPR-Cas systems within 672 genomes, and in the process, we identified a previously unreported and putatively mobile type I-C P. aeruginosa CRISPR-Cas system. Furthermore, genomes harboring noninhibited type I-F and I-E CRISPR-Cas systems were on average ~300 kb smaller than those without a CRISPR-Cas system. In silico analysis demonstrated that the accessory genome (n = 22,036 genes) harbored the majority of identified CRISPR-Cas targets. We also assembled a global spacer library that aided the identification of difficult-to-characterize mobile genetic elements within next-generation sequencing (NGS) data and allowed CRISPR typing of a majority of P. aeruginosa strains. In summary, our analysis demonstrated that CRISPR-Cas systems play an important role in shaping the accessory genomes of globally distributed P. aeruginosa isolates.

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