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Mutation dictates the tempo and mode of evolution, and like all traits, the mutation rate is subject to evolutionary modification. Here, we report refined estimates of the mutation rate for a prokaryote with an exceptionally small genome and for a unicellular eukaryote with a large genome. Combined with prior results, these estimates provide the basis for a(More)
Mutation plays a central role in all evolutionary processes and is also the basis of genetic disorders. Established base-substitution mutation rates in eukaryotes range between ∼5 × 10(-10) and 5 × 10(-8) per site per generation, but here we report a genome-wide estimate for Paramecium tetraurelia that is more than an order of magnitude lower than any(More)
We present the complete genomic sequence of the essential symbiont Polynucleobacter necessarius (Betaproteobacteria), which is a valuable case study for several reasons. First, it is hosted by a ciliated protist, Euplotes; bacterial symbionts of ciliates are still poorly known because of a lack of extensive molecular data. Second, the single species P.(More)
Genome-wide DNA rearrangements occur in many eukaryotes but are most exaggerated in ciliates, making them ideal model systems for epigenetic phenomena. During development of the somatic macronucleus, Oxytricha trifallax destroys 95% of its germ line, severely fragmenting its chromosomes, and then unscrambles hundreds of thousands of remaining fragments by(More)
A common biological pathway reconstruction approach -- as implemented by many automatic biological pathway services (such as the KAAS and RAST servers) and the functional annotation of metagenomic sequences -- starts with the identification of protein functions or families (e.g., KO families for the KEGG database and the FIG families for the SEED database)(More)
16S rRNA gene sequencing has been widely used for probing the species structure of a variety of environmental bacterial communities. Alternatively, 16S rRNA gene fragments can be retrieved from shotgun metagenomic sequences (metagenomes) and used for species profiling. Both approaches have their limitations-16S rRNA sequencing may be biased because of(More)
CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) loci, together with cas (CRISPR-associated) genes, form the CRISPR/Cas adaptive immune system, a primary defense strategy that eubacteria and archaea mobilize against foreign nucleic acids, including phages and conjugative plasmids. Short spacer sequences separated by the repeats are derived(More)
The macronuclear genome of the ciliate Oxytricha trifallax displays an extreme and unique eukaryotic genome architecture with extensive genomic variation. During sexual genome development, the expressed, somatic macronuclear genome is whittled down to the genic portion of a small fraction (∼5%) of its precursor "silent" germline micronuclear genome by a(More)
The Oxytricha trifallax mitochondrial genome contains the largest sequenced ciliate mitochondrial chromosome (~70 kb) plus a ~5-kb linear plasmid bearing mitochondrial telomeres. We identify two new ciliate split genes (rps3 and nad2) as well as four new mitochondrial genes (ribosomal small subunit protein genes: rps- 2, 7, 8, 10), previously undetected in(More)
BACKGROUND Programmed DNA elimination and reorganization frequently occur during cellular differentiation. Development of the somatic macronucleus in some ciliates presents an extreme case, involving excision of internal eliminated sequences (IESs) that interrupt coding DNA segments (macronuclear destined sequences, MDSs), as well as removal of(More)