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Proceedings Paper

Understanding life on this planet in the age of genomics
Author(s): Hans-Peter Klenk; Lixin Zhou; J. Craig Venter
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Paper Abstract

The complete 1.66 megabase pair genome sequence of the extreme thermophilic, autotrophic archaeon Methanococcus jannaschii has been determined by whole-genome random sequencing. Out of a total of 1751 predicted protein coding genes, only 44% could be assigned a putative cellular role with high confidence, and only 57% are homologous to genes known in other organisms. For 43% of the M. jannaschii genes no related gene is known in any other organism. Although the majority of the genes related to energy production, cell division, and metabolism in M. jannaschii are most similar to those found in Bacteria, most of the genes involved in the processing of information (transcription, translation, and replication) are more similar to their counterparts in Eukaryotes. The analysis of the M. jannaschii genome holds not only clues for the basis of life under extreme conditions, but the comparison of its information content with that of the genomes from other model organisms, like the bacterium Escherichia coli and the eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also provides clues for the reconstruction of the history of many gene families and for the history of life on earth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3111, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms, (11 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.278785
Show Author Affiliations
Hans-Peter Klenk, The Institute for Genomic Research (United States)
Lixin Zhou, The Institute for Genomic Research (United States)
J. Craig Venter, The Institute for Genomic Research (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3111:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms
Richard B. Hoover, Editor(s)

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