by Merry Youle
Add phage ICP1 to the list. Source.
One widely-used tactic for defense against phage and other mobile genetic elements is to deploy a CRISPR-Cas system (click here and here) to recognize and chop them into pieces. Based on sequenced genomes, 60% of Bacteria and 90% of Archaea have the wherewithal to dispatch invaders this way. But phages also have to protect themselves against enemies, including other mobile elements. Knowing a good thing when they see it—and they have seen it from the receiving end often—some phages have stolen the entire CRISPR-Cas structure and use it to inactivate genetic elements that would interfere with their replication.
What sorts of genetic elements challenge phage supremacy? Some bacteria harbor chromosomal islands that, like prophages, excise and replicate when induced by cellular stress or damage. When phage infection is what triggers the activation, the island is classified as a PICI, a phage-inducible chromosomal island. The ungrateful PICI sometimes then proceeds to interfere with phage replication. One subset of these PICIs includes the SaPIs, Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands, that I introduced here and wrote more about here.