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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jan 22;99(2):984-9. Epub 2002 Jan 15.

Genome sequence of the hyperthermophilic crenarchaeon Pyrobaculum aerophilum.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, and Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1489, USA.


We determined and annotated the complete 2.2-megabase genome sequence of Pyrobaculum aerophilum, a facultatively aerobic nitrate-reducing hyperthermophilic (T(opt) = 100 degrees C) crenarchaeon. Clues were found suggesting explanations of the organism's surprising intolerance to sulfur, which may aid in the development of methods for genetic studies of the organism. Many interesting features worthy of further genetic studies were revealed. Whole genome computational analysis confirmed experiments showing that P. aerophilum (and perhaps all crenarchaea) lack 5' untranslated regions in their mRNAs and thus appear not to use a ribosome-binding site (Shine-Dalgarno)-based mechanism for translation initiation at the 5' end of transcripts. Inspection of the lengths and distribution of mononucleotide repeat-tracts revealed some interesting features. For instance, it was seen that mononucleotide repeat-tracts of Gs (or Cs) are highly unstable, a pattern expected for an organism deficient in mismatch repair. This result, together with an independent study on mutation rates, suggests a "mutator" phenotype.

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