The CRISPR‒Cas system acts as a bacterial defense mechanism by conferring adaptive immunity and limiting genetic reshuffling. However, under adverse environmental hazards, bacteria can employ their CRISPR‒Cas system to exchange genes that are vital for adaptation and survival. Levilactobacillus brevis is a lactic acid bacterium with great potential for commercial purposes because it can be genetically manipulated to enhance its functionality and nutritional value. Nevertheless, the CRISPR‒Cas system might interfere with the genetic modification process. Additionally, little is known about the CRISPR‒Cas system in this industrially important microorganism. Here, we investigate the prevalence, diversity, and targets of CRISPR‒Cas systems in the genus Levilactobacillus, further focusing on complete genomes of L. brevis. Using the CRISPRCasFinder webserver, we identified 801 putative CRISPR-Cas systems in the genus Levilactobacillus. Further investigation focusing on the complete genomes of L. brevis revealed 54 putative CRISPR-Cas systems. Of these, 46 were orphan CRISPRs, and eight were CRISPR‒Cas systems. The type II-A CRISPR‒Cas system is the most common in Levilactobacillus and L. brevis complete genomes. Analysis of the spacer's target showed that the CRISPR‒Cas systems of L. brevis mainly target the enterococcal plasmids. Comparative analysis of putative CRISPR-Cas loci in Levilactobacillus brevis.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.