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Archaeal genetics is the scientific study of the genes, consisting of hereditary units, of Archaea, a domain of organisms that comprise single, nucleus-free cells, distinct from bacteria and eukaryotes.
Prokaryotic Argonaute proteins, homologues of eukaryotic Argonaute proteins involved in RNA interference, have recently been demonstrated to mediate host defence in archaea and bacteria. In this Progress article, van der Oost and colleagues explore the structures and biological functions of the prokaryotic Argonaute proteins, and discuss their potential applications in genome editing.
Archaea are highly diverse microorganisms that inhabit various environments. This evolutionary flexibility and adaptability has been supported by abundant horizontal gene transfer. In this Review, Albers and colleagues discuss the mechanisms and consequences of archaeal DNA transfer.
The archaeal genome is organized by either eukaryotic-like histone proteins or bacterial-like architectural proteins. Dame and colleagues discuss the interplay between chromatin proteins and components of the basal and regulatory transcription machinery, and describe how these factors cooperate in nucleoid structuring and gene regulation.