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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Diverse organization of genes of the beta-ketoadipate pathway in members of the marine Roseobacter lineage.

Members of the Roseobacter lineage, an ecologically important marine clade within the class alpha-Proteobacteria, harbor genes for the protocatechuate branch of the beta-ketoadipate pathway, a major catabolic route for lignin-related aromatic compounds. The genes of this pathway are typically clustered, although gene order varies among organisms. Here we characterize genes linked to pcaH and -G, which encode protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase, in eight closely related members of the Roseobacter lineage (pairwise 16S rRNA gene sequence identities, 92 to 99%). Sequence analysis of genomic fragments revealed five unique pca gene arrangements. Identical gene organization was found for isolates demonstrating species-level identity (i.e., >99% 16S rRNA gene similarity). In one isolate, six functionally related genes were clustered: pcaQ, pobA, pcaD, pcaC, pcaH, and pcaG. The remaining seven isolates lacked at least one of these genes in their clusters, although the relative order of the remaining genes was preserved. Three genes (pcaC, -H, and -G) were physically linked in all isolates. A highly conserved open reading frame (ORF) was found immediately downstream of pcaG in all eight isolates. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis of RNA from one isolate, Silicibacter pomeroyi DSS-3, provides evidence that this ORF is coexpressed with upstream pca genes. The absence of this ORF in similar bacterial pca gene clusters from diverse microbes suggests a niche-specific role for its protein product in Roseobacter group members. Collectively, these comparisons of bacterial pca gene organization illuminate a complex evolutionary history and underscore the widespread ecological importance of the encoded beta-ketoadipate pathway.[1]


  1. Diverse organization of genes of the beta-ketoadipate pathway in members of the marine Roseobacter lineage. Buchan, A., Neidle, E.L., Moran, M.A. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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