Insights into bacterial genome composition through variable target GC content profiling

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Computational Biology, 2010, 17 (1), pp. 79 - 96
Issue Date:
2010-01-01
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This study presents a new computational method for guanine (G) and cytosine (C), or GC, content profiling based on the idea of multiple resolution sampling (MRS). The benefit of our new approach over existing techniques follows from its ability to locate significant regions without prior knowledge of the sequence, nor the features being sought. The use of MRS has provided novel insights into bacterial genome composition. Key findings include those that are related to the core composition of bacterial genomes, to the identification of large genomic islands (in Enterobacterial genomes), and to the identification of surface protein determinants in human pathogenic organisms (e.g., Staphylococcus genomes). We observed that bacterial surface binding proteins maintain abnormal GC content, potentially pointing to a viral origin. This study has demonstrated that GC content holds a high informational worth and hints at many underlying evolutionary processes. For online Supplementary Material, see www.liebertonline.com. © Copyright 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2010.
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