Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Stressed Serratia curb CRISPR

Bacteria use CRISPR–Cas systems as adaptive defence weapons against attacking phages. A new study shows that under severe stress conditions, Serratia turn off their CRISPR immune system to increase the uptake of potentially beneficial plasmids.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Concept of the SorTn-Seq approach to elucidate the regulatory network controlling CRISPR–Cas immunity in Serratia.


  1. Bernheim, A. & Sorek, R. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 18, 113–119 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Hampton, H. G., Watson, B. N. J. & Fineran, P. C. Nature 577, 327–336 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Marraffini, L. & Sontheimer, E. Nat. Rev. Genet. 11, 181–190 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Smith, L. M. et al. Nat. Microbiol. (2021).

  5. van Opijnen, T., Bodi, K. & Camilli, A. Nat. Methods 6, 767–772 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Christen, B. et al. Mol. Syst. Biol. 7, 528 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Mitchell, A. M. & Silhavy, T. J. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 17, 417–428 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Jackson, S. A. et al. Science 356, eaal5056 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Beat Christen.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Christen, B. Stressed Serratia curb CRISPR. Nat Microbiol 6, 149–150 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing