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1.  By their genes ye shall know them: genomic signatures of predatory bacteria 
The ISME Journal  2012;7(4):756-769.
Predatory bacteria are taxonomically disparate, exhibit diverse predatory strategies and are widely distributed in varied environments. To date, their predatory phenotypes cannot be discerned in genome sequence data thereby limiting our understanding of bacterial predation, and of its impact in nature. Here, we define the ‘predatome,' that is, sets of protein families that reflect the phenotypes of predatory bacteria. The proteomes of all sequenced 11 predatory bacteria, including two de novo sequenced genomes, and 19 non-predatory bacteria from across the phylogenetic and ecological landscapes were compared. Protein families discriminating between the two groups were identified and quantified, demonstrating that differences in the proteomes of predatory and non-predatory bacteria are large and significant. This analysis allows predictions to be made, as we show by confirming from genome data an over-looked bacterial predator. The predatome exhibits deficiencies in riboflavin and amino acids biosynthesis, suggesting that predators obtain them from their prey. In contrast, these genomes are highly enriched in adhesins, proteases and particular metabolic proteins, used for binding to, processing and consuming prey, respectively. Strikingly, predators and non-predators differ in isoprenoid biosynthesis: predators use the mevalonate pathway, whereas non-predators, like almost all bacteria, use the DOXP pathway. By defining predatory signatures in bacterial genomes, the predatory potential they encode can be uncovered, filling an essential gap for measuring bacterial predation in nature. Moreover, we suggest that full-genome proteomic comparisons are applicable to other ecological interactions between microbes, and provide a convenient and rational tool for the functional classification of bacteria.
doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.149
PMCID: PMC3603397  PMID: 23190728
microbial predators; bacterial predation; comparative genomics; Bdellovibrio
2.  CRISPR loci reveal networks of gene exchange in archaea 
Biology Direct  2011;6:65.
Background
CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly, Interspaced, Short, Palindromic Repeats) loci provide prokaryotes with an adaptive immunity against viruses and other mobile genetic elements. CRISPR arrays can be transcribed and processed into small crRNA molecules, which are then used by the cell to target the foreign nucleic acid. Since spacers are accumulated by active CRISPR/Cas systems, the sequences of these spacers provide a record of the past "infection history" of the organism.
Results
Here we analyzed all currently known spacers present in archaeal genomes and identified their source by DNA similarity. While nearly 50% of archaeal spacers matched mobile genetic elements, such as plasmids or viruses, several others matched chromosomal genes of other organisms, primarily other archaea. Thus, networks of gene exchange between archaeal species were revealed by the spacer analysis, including many cases of inter-genus and inter-species gene transfer events. Spacers that recognize viral sequences tend to be located further away from the leader sequence, implying that there exists a selective pressure for their retention.
Conclusions
CRISPR spacers provide direct evidence for extensive gene exchange in archaea, especially within genera, and support the current dogma where the primary role of the CRISPR/Cas system is anti-viral and anti-plasmid defense.
Open peer review
This article was reviewed by: Profs. W. Ford Doolittle, John van der Oost, Christa Schleper (nominated by board member Prof. J Peter Gogarten)
doi:10.1186/1745-6150-6-65
PMCID: PMC3285040  PMID: 22188759
CRISPR; Lateral Gene transfer; Horizontal gene transfer; viruses; archaea; competence

Results 1-2 (2)