Caister Academic Press

Genome Evolution and Content in the Myxobacteria

Stuart Huntley, Kristin Wuichet and Lotte Søgaard-Andersen
from: Myxobacteria: Genomics, Cellular and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Zhaomin Yang and Penelope I. Higgs). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Nearly 2000 microbial genomes have been completely sequenced since the first bacterial genome sequence was released in 1995. Since then, comparative and functional genomics in combination with advances in sequencing techniques have significantly changed the way (micro)biological research is done. Intra- and inter-genome comparisons are now common practice to understand possible evolutionary trajectories and for identifying genes of interest. Similarly, functional genomics approaches such as transcriptome and proteome analyses, which rely on genome sequences, have been developed in many model organisms including Myxococcus xanthus. Here, we present a summary of the myxobacteria genome sequences available to date (July 2012) as well as an overall comparison of these genomes. Most members of the myxobacteria have large genome with sizes of approximately 10 Mb or even larger. We explore hypotheses for myxobacteria genome evolution, including genome size, genome organization with conserved synteny and genetic content with a special emphasis on genes for signal transduction proteins. Moreover, we discuss the level of shared genetic content of the hallmark characteristic of the myxobacteria, i.e. fruiting body formation. Finally, we look at what is on the near horizon for the future of myxobacteria genomics read more ...
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