Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 May 8;34(8):2418-27. Print 2006.

Detecting uber-operons in prokaryotic genomes.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, USA.


We present a study on computational identification of uber-operons in a prokaryotic genome, each of which represents a group of operons that are evolutionarily or functionally associated through operons in other (reference) genomes. Uber-operons represent a rich set of footprints of operon evolution, whose full utilization could lead to new and more powerful tools for elucidation of biological pathways and networks than what operons have provided, and a better understanding of prokaryotic genome structures and evolution. Our prediction algorithm predicts uber-operons through identifying groups of functionally or transcriptionally related operons, whose gene sets are conserved across the target and multiple reference genomes. Using this algorithm, we have predicted uber-operons for each of a group of 91 genomes, using the other 90 genomes as references. In particular, we predicted 158 uber-operons in Escherichia coli K12 covering 1830 genes, and found that many of the uber-operons correspond to parts of known regulons or biological pathways or are involved in highly related biological processes based on their Gene Ontology (GO) assignments. For some of the predicted uber-operons that are not parts of known regulons or pathways, our analyses indicate that their genes are highly likely to work together in the same biological processes, suggesting the possibility of new regulons and pathways. We believe that our uber-operon prediction provides a highly useful capability and a rich information source for elucidation of complex biological processes, such as pathways in microbes. All the prediction results are available at our Uber-Operon Database:, the first of its kind.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk