J. Bacteriology 2020 Nov 19;202(24):e00507-20. doi: 10.1128/JB.00507-20. Online ahead of print.
The arms-race between bacteria and their competitors has produced an astounding variety of conflict systems that are shared via horizontal gene transfer across bacterial populations. In this issue of Journal of Bacteriology, Burroughs and Aravind investigate how these biological conflict systems have been mixed-and-matched into new configurations, often with novel protein domains. The authors additionally characterize the evolutionary history of genes in eukaryotes that appear to have been acquired from these prokaryotic defense systems.