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French Scientists Sequence Insect Pathogen P. Luminescens

NEW YORK, Oct. 7 (GenomeWeb News) - A natural enemy of six-legged organisms has been sequenced, researchers reported in Nature Biotechnology Oct. 5.


The genome of the bacterial insect pathogen, Photorhabdus luminescens, is 5,688,987 base pairs on length, and includes 4,839 predicted protein coding genes, Eric Duchaud of the Genomic Laboratory of Pathogenic Microorganisms in France, and collegues found.


The eneterobacterium, which exists as a symbiotic organism in the nematode gut, then when he nematode attacks an insect, it is released in a virulent stage and kills the insect, occupies its cadaver, and bioconverts the cadaver as a way to facilitate its own multiplication and the insect's reproduction, according to the authors. It also releases antbibiotics that kill or ward off potential rival invaders of the cadaver.


Duchaud, et all, said the sequence would help them to better understand this "complex life cycle."


Not only did they find a number of proteases, lipases, hemolysins, and toxins, they also discovered the way the bacterium has acquired virulence factors by comparing its sequence to genomes of other similar bacteria.


The article is available online at  Nature Biotechnology's website. 

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