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Pasteur Institute Researchers Sequence Hardy Antarctic Bacterium P. haloplanktis

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 (GenomeWeb News) - A group of researchers led by scientists at the Pasteur Institute's Genetics of Bacterial Genomes Unit have sequenced the aquatic Antarctic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TAC125, the institute said today.


The sequencing project has identified in the organism's two chromosomes' 3,488 protein-coding genes, more than 63 percent of which are similar to those of 

Shewanella oneidensis, according to the research published in the October issue of the journal Genome Research.


The organism's genome revealed mechanisms by which it copes with the often-toxic high concentration of molecular oxygen present in cold water, the institute said. The bacterium multiplies dioxygen scavenging while deleting whole pathways producing reactive oxygen species, in particular "the ubiquitous molybdopterin-dependent metabolism," the research report said. At the same time, P. haloplanktis uses dioxygen-consuming lipid desaturases to keep its membrane fluid in the cold environment, while holding the concentration of molecular oxygen down, the article said.


In addition to the Pasteur Institute, the research team included scientists from the University of Hong Kong; the University of Liege, Belgium; the University of Naples, Italy; and the University of Stockholm, Sweden.

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