Now that the human genome has been sequenced, sequencing know-how is turning to other organisms. A team of researchers, including some from the University of Iowa, has sequenced the genome of a highly versatile and potentially useful bacterium. The multidisciplinary effort determined the complete genetic sequence of Rhodopseudomonas palustris, a bacterium that could potentially be used for cleaning up toxic industrial waste and as a biocatalyst for producing hydrogen as a bio-fuel.
The research, conducted by scientists in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine together with colleagues from Ohio State University (OSU), the University of British Columbia and the United States Department of Energys (DOE) Joint Genome Institute, appeared in Nature Biotechnology advance online publication on Dec. 14.
Caroline Harwood, Ph.D., UI professor of microbiology and senior author of the study, explained that the opportunity to investigate this bacteriums genes arose from DOE interest in sequencing microbial genomes. These organisms have capabilities that could be useful in tackling environmental issues such as energy production, global warming and bioremediation of toxic waste.
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