|Microbial Genome Project Section
DOE Human Genome Program Contractor-Grantee Workshop
151. Microbial Genome Sequencing and Analysis at TIGR
William C. Nierman, Tamara Feldblyum,
Rebecca A. Clayton, Robert D. Fleischmann, Owen White, Claire M. Fraser,
and J. Craig Venter
Advances in automated DNA sequence analyses and a whole genome shotgun strategy pioneered by The Institute for Genomic Research resulted in the first complete genome sequence for a free living bacterium, Haemophilus influenzae in 1995. Since then the TIGR microbial sequencing program has expanded to include 8 completed bacterial genomes representing 12.3 Mb of sequence data and another 16 genomes in progress. Data analyses of the sequenced organisms indicates that on the average about 46% of the genes have no assigned biological function and 26% of those genes are unique to a particular species. The number of genes with unknown function and the number of genes unique to an organism indicate the wide variety and adaptability of the bacterial world, their ability to adjust to extreme living conditions, their ability to metabolize a variety of chemical compounds as sources of energy, and our rudimentary knowledge of the scope of the physiology and metabolism of earth's microbes.
The availability of complete microbial genome sequence data opens new ways of investigating these organisms. Analysis of TIGR sequenced microbial genomes has provided new and exciting insights into the phylogenetic relatedness of organisms, novel metabolic pathways, biochemical strategies of pathogenic microbes, the functional identification of genes, and the minimal gene content of free living organisms.
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