Navigation Links
Viruses evolve to play by host rules, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers
Date:3/3/2008

PHILADELPHIA -- Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University have examined the complete genomes of viruses that infect the bacteria E. coli, P. aeruginosa and L. lactis and have found that many of these viral genomes exhibit codon bias, the tendency to preferentially encode a protein with a particular spelling.

Researchers analyzed patterns of codon usage across 74 bacteriophages using the concept of a "genome landscape," a method of visualizing long-range patterns in a genome sequence.

Their findings extend the translational theory of codon bias to the viral kingdom, demonstrating that the viral genome is selected to obey the preferences of its host.

The host bacterium is exerting a strong evolutionary pressure on the virus, Joshua Plotkin, lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Penn, said. This happens because a virus must hijack the machinery of its host in order to reproduce. We are seeing that viruses are forced to adopt the particular codon choices preferred by the bacterium they infect.

The study found that each bacterium has a preferred way of spelling its genes. And it appears that viruses that infect a bacterium spell their own genes in the same way the bacterium does, obeying the rules of its host and demonstrating co-evolutionary behavior.

Like a bee and a flower, an example of co-evolution between two large organisms, the same fundamental biological processes operate between two small organisms, as reflected in their genome sequences, Plotkin said.

Moreover, the team found that the degree of codon bias varies across the viral genome. By comparing the observed genomes to randomly drawn genomes, the team demonstrated that the regions of high codon bias in these viral genomes often coincide with regions encoding structural proteins. Thus, the proteins that a virus needs to produce at high levels utilize the same encoding as its host organism does for highly expressed proteins.

Any protein can be encoded by multiple, synonymous spellings, but organisms typically prefer one spelling over others, a phenomenon known as codon bias. Codon bias is generally understood to result from selection for the synonymous spelling that maximizes the rate and accuracy of protein production.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jordan Reese
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Features of replication suggest viruses have common themes, vulnerabilities
2. Gamma globulin effective in treating eye infections caused by adenoviruses
3. Discovery may help defang viruses
4. Prions and retroviruses -- an unholy alliance?
5. Study proposes new theory of how viruses may contribute to cancer
6. Iowa State researchers develop technology for early detection of viruses
7. Yellowstone viruses jump between hot pools
8. Great apes endangered by human viruses
9. The Uukuniemi virus helps to explain the infection mechanism of bunyaviruses
10. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
11. New molecular clock from LLNL and CDC indicates smallpox evolved earlier than believed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, ... ... the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com ... http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell ... Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into ... data, the first application of deep learning to create ... cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. ... these and future publicly available resources created and shared ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/16/2017)... ... July 16, 2017 , ... ... analytical instruments announced the launch of its new line of Extreme Environment Shakers ... applications that require CO2 and humidity for optimal cell growth such as cell ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Dr. Joshua Mondlick has introduced the LANAP® protocol to ... Mondlick Perio, in the Phoenix area. Dr. Mondlick is at the forefront of ... laser treatment to re-grow bone and with significantly less pain than traditional surgery options. ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Thousands of pilots from across the country will visit ... (Nats). Pilots come to Muncie to compete in various categories of model flying competition. ... participate in world championships. , RC Pylon (July 14-21): One of the most fun ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... July 13, 2017 , ... ... with only two spectrophotometer calibration standards. Blast forward seven years and now ... photometric accuracy, holmium oxide for wavelength accuracy, and resolution testing. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: