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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 10;103(2):425-30. Epub 2006 Jan 3.

Essential genes of a minimal bacterium.

Author information

  • 1Synthetic Biology Group, J. Craig Venter Institute, 9704 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.

Abstract

Mycoplasma genitalium has the smallest genome of any organism that can be grown in pure culture. It has a minimal metabolism and little genomic redundancy. Consequently, its genome is expected to be a close approximation to the minimal set of genes needed to sustain bacterial life. Using global transposon mutagenesis, we isolated and characterized gene disruption mutants for 100 different nonessential protein-coding genes. None of the 43 RNA-coding genes were disrupted. Herein, we identify 382 of the 482 M. genitalium protein-coding genes as essential, plus five sets of disrupted genes that encode proteins with potentially redundant essential functions, such as phosphate transport. Genes encoding proteins of unknown function constitute 28% of the essential protein-coding genes set. Disruption of some genes accelerated M. genitalium growth.

PMID:
16407165
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1324956
Free PMC Article

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