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% GC content and 16S phylogeny

Thomas Sicheritz thomas at evolution.bmc.uu.se
Sun Aug 4 09:10:34 EST 1996

On 2 Aug 1996, Scott David Kathe wrote:

> Is the % GC content of the genone from a eubacterial species reflected in the % GC content of that organisms 16S rRNA
> gene or tRNA genes?  One person I've talked to says yes but can't produce a reference and another person says no but
> can't produce a referentce either.  I would greatly appreciate it if someone could provide me with references either
> way.  Thanks.

Hej David,

I forwarded your question to my supervisor, and here is what she replied:
The answer is to a first approximation no.

To be more precise: there is a positive, but very weak correlation
with the G+C content of the rRNA and the tRNA genes to genomic G+C.

In eubacteria, these genes are the extremely stable towards biased
mutation pressures.

The reference is Muto and Osawa (1987) The guanine and cytosine
content of genomic DNA and bacterial evolution. Proc. Natl. Acad.
Sci USA 84:166-169.


god luck

Sicheritz Ponten Thomas E.              UPPSALA UNIVERSITY 
Vangsbyvaegen 128   S-740 20 Vaenge     Biomedical Center
Home: +46 18  364358                    Department of Molecular Biology
BMC:  +46 18  174214                    BOX 590 S-751 24 UPPSALA Sweden
Fax   +46 18  557723                    http://skydancer.bmc.uu.se/~thomas
        Chaos always defeats order, 
                because it is better organized.
                                               (Terry Pratchett)

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