MBL leads effort to update E. coli genome
Project aims to consolidate information, coordinate efforts
E.coli is one of the most important model organisms for molecular science today and is arguably the single organism about which the most is known. The genes of higher-level plants and animals, even humans, are often understood by their similarity to E. coli genes. As such, the accuracy and completeness of E.coli genome information is of great importance to the scientific community.
In an attempt to consolidate the efforts of scientists working independently on the genome of the E.coli K-12 strain, an international team of biologists, led by MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) scientists Monica Riley and Margrethe "Gretta" Serres, has published a comprehensive, updated description of all 4,500 E. coli K-12 genes. The data is presented in the January 5, 2006 online issue of the journal Nucleic Acids Research.
"The E. coli scientific community is scattered," said Riley, a senior scientist in the MBLs Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution. "We determined that we needed to get together and pool everything we know into one package. E. coli is one of the most important model organisms for molecular science today. Our work will help move this forward."
A group of 19 scientists from four countries updated the annotation of E. coli K-12 at two MBL workshops organized by Riley and Serres. Annotation involves identification of genes, and their starting and ending sites, as well as the description of gene products. The process helps scientists to determine gene function.
During the MBL workshops, Riley and her colleagues assigned known or predicted gene functions to each E. coli K-12 product based on previously known experimental evidence or sequence analysis. "We cooperated to an amazing extent, reviewing every single one of 4,500 genes of E. coli K-12," said Riley. The scientists developed the best consensus on the status and properties of each of the E.coli K-12 genes at the present moment. Their goal was not to create a new database, but to present a comprehensive, updated annotation of E.coli K-12, which would be readily available to the public. "Our work puts a searchlight on the fraction of E. coli genes that are unknown and will accelerate laboratory work on the unknown functions with the goal of knowing what every gene does in the living organism," said Riley.
According to Riley, currently there is no funding by an agency for any kind of coordinated E. coli annotation effort, however interested members of the E. coli community are applying to NIH for support to establish a K-12 information resource. "Interaction among the scientists accelerates discovery and the hope is that this kind of work will soon be centralized," she said. "This would provide more efficient coordination of scientific groups that are working independently."
Gina Hebert | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...