Global genome analysis of the shikimic acid pathway reveals greater gene loss in host-associated than in free-living bacteria

A central tenet in biochemistry for over 50 years has held that microorganisms, plants and, more recently, certain apicomplexan parasites synthesize essential aromatic compounds via elaboration of a complete shikimic acid pathway, whereas metazoans lacking this pathway require a dietary source of these compounds. The large number of sequenced bacterial and… (More)