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Gene. 2007 Dec 30;406(1-2):184-90. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

Screening the Sargasso Sea metagenome for data to investigate genome evolution in Ostreococcus (Prasinophyceae, Chlorophyta).

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Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris6, Laboratoire Arago, BP44, 66651 Banyuls sur Mer Cedex, France.


The Sargasso Sea water shotgun sequencing unveiled an unprecedented glimpse of marine prokaryotic diversity and gene content. The sequence data was gathered from 0.8 microm filtered surface water extracts, and revealed picoeukaryotic (cell size<2 microm) sequences alongside the prokaryotic data. We used the available genome sequence of the picoeukaryote Ostreococcus tauri (Prasinophyceae, Chlorophyta) as a benchmark for the eukaryotic sequence content of the Sargasso Sea metagenome. Sequence data from at least two new Ostreococcus strains were identified and analyzed, and showed a bias towards higher coverage of the AT-rich organellar genomes. The Ostreococcus nuclear sequence data retrieved from the Sargasso metagenome is divided onto 731 scaffolds of average size 3917 bp, and covers 23% of the complete nuclear genome and 14% of the total number of protein coding genes in O. tauri. We used this environmental Ostreococcus sequence data to estimate the level of constraint on intronic and intergenic sequences in this compact genome.

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