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UBC-Led Team Sequences Rhodococcus sp. RHA1, Largest Bacterial Genome to Date

NEW YORK, March 21 (GenomeWeb News) - An international team led by researchers at the University of British Columbia has sequenced the genome of Rhodococcus sp. RHA1, a soil bacterium of interest for bioremediation research.


At more than 9.7 million base pairs, Rhodococcus sp. RHA1 is the largest bacterial genome sequenced to date, according to the UBC team, and is the first genome of a Rhodococcus to be completely sequenced.


Analysis of the sequence indicates the presence of more than 9,300 genes, including several that encode proteins that break down toxic substances such as polychlorinated biphenyls, toluene, and phthalates. The genome of Rhodococcus sp. RHA1 also contains a number of genes related to antibiotic production.


The team has also verified the expression of approximately 3,000 transcripts and approximately 250 proteins in subsequent studies using high-throughput proteomics, transcriptomics, and gene disruption.


The sequencing and assembly of the genome was performed at the MichaelSmithGenomeSciencesCenter, while the sequence analysis and subsequent experimental research was performed by the Microbial Envirogenomics Group at UBC. The project marks the first bacterial genome to be entirely sequenced and annotated in Canada.


The sequence and annotation of the Rhodococcus sp. RHA1 genome will be formally presented at the International Conference on Microbial Genomes, April 13-16, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


More information on the Rhodococcus Genome Project is available here.