Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2013) 15: 19-24.

Genome DNA Sequence Variation, Evolution, and Function in Bacteria and Archaea

Hiromi Nishida

Comparative genomics has revealed that variations in bacterial and archaeal genome DNA sequences cannot be explained by only neutral mutations. Virus resistance and plasmid distribution systems have resulted in changes in bacterial and archaeal genome sequences during evolution. The restriction-modification system, a virus resistance system, leads to avoidance of palindromic DNA sequences in genomes. Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) found in genomes represent yet another virus resistance system. Comparative genomics has shown that bacteria and archaea have failed to gain any DNA with GC content higher than the GC content of their chromosomes. Thus, horizontally transferred DNA regions have lower GC content than the host chromosomal DNA does. Some nucleoid-associated proteins bind DNA regions with low GC content and inhibit the expression of genes contained in those regions. This form of gene repression is another type of virus resistance system. On the other hand, bacteria and archaea have used plasmids to gain additional genes. Virus resistance systems influence plasmid distribution. Interestingly, the restriction-modification system and nucleoid-associated protein genes have been distributed via plasmids. Thus, GC content and genomic signatures do not reflect bacterial and archaeal evolutionary relationships.

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