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Arch Microbiol. 2008 Sep;190(3):197-215. doi: 10.1007/s00203-008-0376-4. Epub 2008 May 21.

Genomics and functional genomics with haloarchaea.

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Biocentre, Institute for Molecular Biosciences, Goethe University, Max-von-Laue-Str. 9, 60438 Frankfurt, Germany.


The first haloarchaeal genome was published in 2000 and today five genome sequences are available. Transcriptome and proteome analyses have been established for two and three haloarchaeal species, respectively, and more than 20 studies using these functional genomic approaches have been published in the last two years. These studies gave global overviews of metabolic regulation (aerobic and anaerobic respiration, phototrophy, carbon source usage), stress response (UV, X-rays, transition metals, osmotic and temperature stress), cell cycle-dependent transcript level regulation, and transcript half-lives. The only translatome analysis available for any prokaryotic species revealed that 10 and 20% of all transcripts are translationally regulated in Haloferax volcanii and Halobacterium salinarum, respectively. Very effective methods for the construction of in frame deletion mutants have been established recently for haloarchaea and are intensively used to unravel the biological roles of genes in this group. Bioinformatic analyses include both cross-genome comparisons as well as integration of genomic data with experimental results. The first systems biology approaches have been performed that used experimental data to construct predictive models of gene expression and metabolism, respectively. In this contribution the current status of genomics, functional genomics, and molecular genetics of haloarchaea is summarized and selected examples are discussed.

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