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Genome Biol Evol. 2012;4(2):184-98. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evr137. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

The whole genome sequence of Sphingobium chlorophenolicum L-1: insights into the evolution of the pentachlorophenol degradation pathway.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO, USA.


Sphingobium chlorophenolicum Strain L-1 can mineralize the toxic pesticide pentachlorophenol (PCP). We have sequenced the genome of S. chlorophenolicum Strain L-1. The genome consists of a primary chromosome that encodes most of the genes for core processes, a secondary chromosome that encodes primarily genes that appear to be involved in environmental adaptation, and a small plasmid. The genes responsible for degradation of PCP are found on chromosome 2. We have compared the genomes of S. chlorophenolicum Strain L-1 and Sphingobium japonicum, a closely related Sphingomonad that degrades lindane. Our analysis suggests that the genes encoding the first three enzymes in the PCP degradation pathway were acquired via two different horizontal gene transfer events, and the genes encoding the final two enzymes in the pathway were acquired from the most recent common ancestor of these two bacteria.

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