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Trends Genet. 2002 Sep;18(9):437-40.

Glycogen metabolism loss: a common marker of parasitic behaviour in bacteria?

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Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques, UMR6098, CNRS, Universités de Marseille I and II, 31 Chemin Joseph Aiguier, 13402 Marseille cedex 20, France.


We searched 55 completely sequenced bacterial genomes for glycogen synthesis and degradation enzymes. A significant proportion of these bacteria appears to lack glycogen metabolism capability. Interestingly, these bacteria are parasitic, symbiotic or fastidious (i.e. difficult to culture outside their normal environment). It is suggested that the lack of bacterial glycogen metabolism is a trait associated with parasitic behaviour in bacteria.

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