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Evolutionary origin of bacterial chromosomes revealed
Date:3/26/2009

ne migration is rife among the different replication units," said Steve Slater, professor at the University of Wisconsin. "Genes are not only migrating between organisms but they are also moving within the cell between chromosomes and plasmids. The genetic organization of even essential genes in bacteria is much more complex and fluid than has been imagined."

"The three Agrobacterium biovars for which we now have sequences A. tumefaciens C58, A. radiobacter K84, and A. vitis S4 provide an exciting snapshot of chromosome evolution in progress," said Brad Goodner, associate professor at Hiram College. "In Biovars I and III, Agrobacteria gene movements have produced second chromosomes derived from plasmids, while in the biovar II strain K84 the plasmid-based replicon has yet to reach second chromosome status."

Derek Wood, associate professor at Seattle Pacific University, remarked: "The findings in this work provide substantial new evidence that second chromosomes in all bacteria studied to date have plasmid origins. While other mechanisms leading to second chromosome formation seem possible, it is intriguing that this approach has been most productive."

"Because of the biotechnological importance of Agrobacterium, the sequence information provided by these strains should be an invaluable resource for Agrobacterium researchers and the wider life sciences research community," said Barry Goldman, Biotechnology Prospecting Lead at Monsanto.


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Contact: Barry Whyte
whyte@vbi.vt.edu
540-231-1767
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

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