Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Viruses Evolve To Play By Host Rules

05.03.2008
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.”

... more about:
»BIAS »Codon »Genome »Host »Viral »bacterium

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.

The study, appearing in the current issue of the journal Public Library of Science Computational Biology, was performed by Plotkin and Grzegorz Kudla of the Department of Biology in the School of Afrts and Sciences at Penn and Julius Lucks and David Nelson of Harvard University.

The study was supported by grants from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the National Science Foundation.

Jordan Reese | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/

Further reports about: BIAS Codon Genome Host Viral bacterium

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins
12.11.2018 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht How to produce fluorescent nanoparticles for medical applications in a nuclear reactor
09.11.2018 | Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>