About this Research Topic
Biological conflicts are a major feature of life across all organizational levels --encompassing inter-cellular competitions between single cells and across multicellular communities and organisms to intra-cellular competition between genomes and invading genic entities and intra-genomic selfish elements. They are at the heart of numerous complex interactions of biology, such as kin selection, pathogenesis, predation, symbiosis (parasitism), immunity, and many genetic behaviors including self-incompatibility and cytoplasmic incompatibility. The past decades have seen a tremendous exploration of the molecular aspects of these conflict interactions, including the identification of their major determinants (such as toxins, effectors, and virulence factors), characterization of chemical activities, and dissection of detailed interactions and regulation. These experimental findings resulted in development of novel biotechnology reagents and point to novel therapeutic approaches. In recent years, this research has been greatly accelerated by computational genomics strategies which process and mine genomic data at previously-scarcely imagined levels of resolution.
Over the past two decades, computational analysis has been the primary driving force for the discovery of novel conflict systems while also contributing to identification of their key proteins, the understanding of their function and evolution, and the establishment of their underlying organizational principles. Examples include the early identification of the CRISPR systems (2000), DNA modification systems (2013), and anti-CRISPR systems (2013) which mediate interactions between bacteria and bacteriophages, the discovery of variable lymphocyte receptor (VLRs)-based adaptive immune system in jawless vertebrates (2007), the discovery of polymorphic toxin systems (2011) involved in intra-species bacterial interactions and bacteria-host interactions, recent discoveries of nucleotide-centric conflict systems in bacteria (2015) and Crinkler-RHS effector systems (2016) that are found in many eukaryotic pathogens and parasites.
We welcome the submissions of Original Research Articles, Reviews, and Methods related to, but not limited to, the following topics:
· Discovery of novel molecular systems that underly biological conflicts
· Dissecting the function and organization of the conflict systems
· Prediction of the function and structure of key components and their interactions
· Tracking the evolution and origin of conflict systems and/or their components.
· Classification of protein domains and superfamilies involved in conflict settings.
· Development of related computational tools and databases
· Omics analysis of host-pathogen interactions
Keywords: Biological conflicts, toxins, effectors, immunity, genome mining, species interactions, pathogen-host interactions, genomic conflicts, arms race
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