Bacteria CRISPR-Cas systems provide immunity against bacteriophages and mobile genetic elements. Although some bacteria modulate CRISPR-Cas in response to population density and other factors, a lack of high-throughput methods to systematically reveal regulators has hampered efforts to understand when and how immune strategies are deployed. Here, I will discuss multiple regulatory networks controlling CRISPR-Cas immunity that we have discovered through our development and application of a robust genome-wide approach.
The molecular hijacking of the bacterial cell is driven by a remarkable diversity of phage-encoded mechanisms that modify replication, transcription and (post)translational modifications within the cell. In future, these systems may be exploited for antibacterial design strategies and biotechnological applications.