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A Small Microbial Genome: The End of a Long Symbiotic Relationship?

Vicente Pérez-Brocal, Rosario Gil, Silvia Ramos, Araceli Lamelas, Marina Postigo, José Manuel Michelena, Francisco J. Silva, Andrés Moya and Amparo Latorre
Science
New Series, Vol. 314, No. 5797 (Oct. 13, 2006), pp. 312-313
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20031538
Page Count: 2
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Abstract

Intracellular bacteria are characterized by genome reduction. The 422,434--base pair genome of Buchnera aphidicola BCc, primary endosymbiont of the aphid Cinara cedri, is ∼200 kilobases smaller than the previously sequenced B. aphidicola genomes. B. aphidicola BCc has lost most metabolic functions, including the ability to synthesize the essential amino acid tryptophan and riboflavin. In addition, most retained genes are evolving rapidly. Possibly, B. aphidicola BCc is losing its symbiotic capacity and is being complemented (and might be replaced) by the highly abundant coexisting secondary symbiont.

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