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Microb Comp Genomics. 1998;3(4):199-217.

Microbial genescapes: phyletic and functional patterns of ORF distribution among prokaryotes.

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Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, USA.


We have implemented a statistically based approach to comparative genomics that allows us to define and characterize distributional patterns of conceptually translated open reading frames (ORFs) at different confidence levels based on pairwise FASTA matches. In this report, we apply this methodology to nine microbial genomes, focusing particularly on phyletic and functional patterns of ORF distribution within and between the two prokaryotic domains of life, Bacteria and Archaea. We examine patterns of presence and absence of matches, determine the universal ORF set, analyze features of genome specialization between closely related organisms, and present genomic evidence for the monophyly of Archaea. These analyses illustrate how a quantitative approach to comparative genomics can illuminate questions of fundamental biological significance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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