Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 718–729 | Cite as

The Repetitive DNA Elements Called CRISPRs and Their Associated Genes: Evidence of Horizontal Transfer Among Prokaryotes

Article

Abstract

We have found direct DNA repeats 21–47 bp in length interspersed with nonrepetitive sequences of similar length, or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in a wide range of diverse prokaryotes, including many Archaeal and Eubacterial species. A number of cas, CRISPR-associated genes have also been characterized in many of the same organisms. Phylogenetic analysis of these cas genes suggests that the CRISPR loci have been propagated via HGT, horizontal gene transfer. We suggest a mechanism by which this HGT has occurred, namely, that the CRISPR loci can be carried between cells on megaplasmids ≥40 kb in length.

Keywords

Repetitive DNA Mobile genetic elements Lateral gene transfer 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyMonmouth CollegeMonmouthUSA

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