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Jun 06, 2022
From 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Location QCCanada

Sylvain Moineau

Sylvain Moineau

The ongoing battle between phages and CRISPR-Cas systems

Sylvain Moineau PhD
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Bio-Informatics
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Laval University
Quebec, QC, Canada

This conference is organized by Emilia Liana Falcone. It is part of the 2021-2022 IRCM conference calendar.

In person: 
IRCM Auditorium
110, avenue des Pins O, H2W 1R7 Montreal
Wearing a mask is mandatory at all times

Zoom Link :
ID : 952 6976 2104
Code : 476372

IRCM conferences are set to occur under a hybrid format. However, please note that last-minute changes to online-only lectures may occur due to unforeseen circumstances. We invite you to visit this webpage again a few days before attending.

About the conference:
Fighting viruses is no easy task. Bacteria use an array of sophisticated defence strategies to thrive in virus-rich ecosystems. CRISPR-Cas is one of these mechanisms. Bacterial CRISPR-Cas type II systems function by first incorporating short DNA ‘spacers’, derived from invading defective phage genomes, in the CRISPR array mostly located in their genome. The bacterial CRISPR array is then transcribed and matured into short RNAs, which, by recruiting Cas9 endonuclease, act as surveillance complexes that recognize and cleave subsequent invading matching DNA sequences. The cleavage occurs near a short PAM motif, adjacent to the sequence targeted by the spacer. 

Phages have evolved counter-tactics to thwart such mechanisms, leading to a so-called biological arms race. For example, phages can bypass CRISPR immunity through point mutation or deletion of the CRISPR target or PAM in their genome as well as by the production of anti-CRISPR proteins (ACRs). 

Using the Gram-positive dairy bacterium Streptococcus thermophilus as a model, I will recall the roles played by virulent phages in the understanding of CRISPR-Cas systems and the development of industrially-relevant phage-resistant bacteria. The emergence of ACR-containing phages illustrates the ongoing battle between phages and their hosts and the need for additional anti-phage approaches in industrial settings.

About Sylvain Moineau :
Dr. Sylvain Moineau is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Bioinformatics at the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering of Laval University, where his work focuses on understanding the interactions between phages and bacteria, using an integrative approach combining omics data (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) and structural biology. Other projects are aimed at developing new strategies to eliminate or exploit phages in the industrial sector, food industry and public health. Dr. Moineau is the recipient of countless honorable distinctions and awards, including nominations as Officer of the Order of Canada (2017), Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2019), and the Quebec City Ambassador of the Year, in recognition of the success of the 13th Annual CRISPR Meeting (2020). He holds the Canada Research Chair in Bacteriophages since 2011 and has been on the list of Highly Cited Researchers in the Microbiology category for the past 8 years, according to Clarivate Analytics (previously Thomson Reuters), highlighting the quality and originality of the work he has published.


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