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Relating genomic characteristics to environmental preferences and ubiquity in different microbial taxa

AuthorsCobo-Simón, Marta; Tamames, Javier
High-throughput sequencing
Functional capabilities
Issue Date29-Jun-2017
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationBMC Genomics 18(1): 499 (2017)
Abstract[Background] Despite the important role that microorganisms play in environmental processes, the low percentage of cultured microbes (5%) has limited, until now, our knowledge of their ecological strategies. However, the development of high-throughput sequencing has generated a huge amount of genomic and metagenomic data without the need of culturing that can be used to study ecological questions. This study aims to estimate the functional capabilities, genomic sizes and 16S copy number of different taxa in relation to their ubiquity and their environmental preferences.
[Results] To achieve this goal, we compiled data regarding the presence of each prokaryotic genera in diverse environments. Then, genomic characteristics such as genome size, 16S rRNA gene copy number, and functional content of the genomes were related to their ubiquity and different environmental preferences of the corresponding taxa. The results showed clear correlations between genomic characteristics and environmental conditions.
[Conclusions] Ubiquity and adaptation were linked to genome size, while 16S copy number was not directly related to ubiquity. We observed that different combinations of these two characteristics delineate the different environments. Besides, the analysis of functional classes showed some clear signatures linked to particular environments.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-017-3888-y
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