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Messenger RNA Decay Patterns Compiled in Bacterial Atlas

In Nature Microbiology, researchers from the Karolinska Institute and other international centers present findings from an effort aimed at characterizing messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation in relation to mRNA translation in species with or without 5'-3' exonucleases. With the help of a 5' monophosphorylated (5'P) sequencing strategy, dubbed degradome or metadegradome sequencing, the team tracked 5'P mRNA decay intermediates across dozens of bacteria, clinical microbiomes, and environmental microbiomes, putting together a degradome atlas for 96 bacterial species. Along with "codon- and gene-level ribosome stalling responses to stress and drug treatment" in the individual bacterial species, for example, the authors note that mRNA degradation analyses on more complex microbiome community mixtures "demonstrate that metadegradome sequencing provides fast, species-specific posttranslational characterization of responses to drug or environmental perturbations."