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Photosynth Res. 2010 Jun;104(2-3):137-52. doi: 10.1007/s11120-009-9515-2. Epub 2010 Jan 23.

Comparative genomics of green sulfur bacteria.

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Klinische Forschergruppe, Klinik für Pädiatrische Pneumologie und Neonatologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, Hannover, Germany.


Eleven completely sequenced Chlorobi genomes were compared in oligonucleotide usage, gene contents, and synteny. The green sulfur bacteria (GSB) are equipped with a core genome that sustains their anoxygenic phototrophic lifestyle by photosynthesis, sulfur oxidation, and CO(2) fixation. Whole-genome gene family and single gene sequence comparisons yielded similar phylogenetic trees of the sequenced chromosomes indicating a concerted vertical evolution of large gene sets. Chromosomal synteny of genes is not preserved in the phylum Chlorobi. The accessory genome is characterized by anomalous oligonucleotide usage and endows the strains with individual features for transport, secretion, cell wall, extracellular constituents, and a few elements of the biosynthetic apparatus. Giant genes are a peculiar feature of the genera Chlorobium and Prosthecochloris. The predicted proteins have a huge molecular weight of 10(6), and are probably instrumental for the bacteria to generate their own intimate (micro)environment.

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