Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Researchers Sequence P. ubique; Bacterium Contains Less Junk DNA Than Other Organisms

NEW YORK, Aug. 18 (GenomeWeb News) - OregonStateUniversityinvestigators and colleagues have sequenced the smallest genome yet, that of the bacterium Pelagibacter ubique, which still contains biosynthetic genes for all 20 amino acids, while having the least known amount of junk DNA.


The researchers' report on the oceanic P. ubique's sequence appears in the current issue of Science.


The bacterium genome has 1,308,759 base pairs and lacks pseudogenes, introns, transposons, extrachromosomal elements, or intiens, according to the report. It also has few paralogs, and "the shortest intergenic spacers yet observed for any cell," the scientists wrote. The genome itself occupies approximately 30 percent of the typical cell of the bacterium.


Along with genes providing full biosynthetic pathways for the 20 amino acids, P. ubique can also manufacture "all but a few cofactors," the report said.


P. ubique is a heterotroph that lives suspended in the ocean, where it assimilates organic compounds and derives its energy by photosynthesis or respiration.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.