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Comparative Genomics

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Comparative genomics is the study of relationships between the genomes of different species or strains. Comparative genomics is an attempt to take advantage of the information provided by the signatures of selection to understand the function and evolutionary processes that act on genomes. While it is still a young field, it holds great promise to yield insights into many aspects of the evolution of modern species. The sheer amount of information contained in modern genomes (several gigabytes in the case of humans) necessitates that the methods of comparative genomics are mostly computational in nature. Gene finding is an important application of comparative genomics, as is discovery of new, non-coding functional elements of the genome.

Comparative genomics exploits both similarities and differences in the proteins, RNA, and regulatory regions of different organisms to infer how selection has acted upon these elements. Those elements that are responsible for similarities between different species should be conserved through time (stabilizing selection), while those elements responsible for differences among species should be divergent (positive selection). Finally, those elements that are unimportant to the evolutionary success of the organism will be unconserved (selection is neutral).   [ wikipedia ]

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa The word Pseudomonas means 'false unit', from the Greek pseudo (Greek: 'false') and monas (Latin: monas, fr. Greek: 'a single unit'). The word was used early in the history of microbiology to refer to germs. Aeruginosa is the Latin word for verdigris or 'copper rust'. This describes the blue-green bacterial pigment seen in laboratory cultures of P. aeruginosa. [ wikipedia ]

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Burkholderia species The Burkholderia (previously part of Pseudomonas) genus name refers to a group of virtually ubiquitous gram-negative, motile, obligately aerobic rod-shaped bacteria including both animal/human (see above) and plant pathogens as well as some environmentally-important species. [ wikipedia ]

Vibrio species Vibrio is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria possessing a curved rod shape. Typically found in saltwater, Vibrio are facultative anaerobes that test positive for oxidase and do not form spores. All members of the genus are motile and monotrichous (having a single polar flagellum). Several species of Vibrio include clinically important human pathogens. [ wikipedia ]

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Last updated: July 30, 2009, 12:09 am
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