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DNA Res. 2016 Dec;23(6):517-525. Epub 2016 Jul 3.

Correlation between genome reduction and bacterial growth.

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Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan.
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.
Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan


Genome reduction by removing dispensable genomic sequences in bacteria is commonly used in both fundamental and applied studies to determine the minimal genetic requirements for a living system or to develop highly efficient bioreactors. Nevertheless, whether and how the accumulative loss of dispensable genomic sequences disturbs bacterial growth remains unclear. To investigate the relationship between genome reduction and growth, a series of Escherichia coli strains carrying genomes reduced in a stepwise manner were used. Intensive growth analyses revealed that the accumulation of multiple genomic deletions caused decreases in the exponential growth rate and the saturated cell density in a deletion-length-dependent manner as well as gradual changes in the patterns of growth dynamics, regardless of the growth media. Accordingly, a perspective growth model linking genome evolution to genome engineering was proposed. This study provides the first demonstration of a quantitative connection between genomic sequence and bacterial growth, indicating that growth rate is potentially associated with dispensable genomic sequences.


accessory gene; dispensable genomic sequence; genome reduction; growth rate

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