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Crenarchaeon sequence

Pyrobaculum aerophilum is a hyperthermophilic crenachaeon that cannot tolerate the presence of elemental sulfur. In the January 22 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Fitz-Gibbon et al. report the complete genome sequence of the P. aerophilum IM2 strain that was isolated from a boiling marine water hole in Maronti Beach, Italy (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:984-989). The genome is 2.2 Mb long, has a 51% G+C content, and contains 2,587 predicted proteins. They found examples of instability of mononucleotide runs and failed to find evidence for a mismatch repair system, suggesting a 'mutator phenotype'. P. aerophilum lacks 5' untranslated regions suggesting an unusual mechanism for translation initiation. The genome contains enzymes for the glyoxylate cycle, 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase multienzyme complexes, and glycolysis. The P. aerophilum genome has inactivated adenylsulfate reductase genes, explaining its sulfur intolerance and offering a means for developing a genetic system based on selection for a sulfur-tolerance plasmid.


  1. Pyrobaculum aerophilum sp. nov., a novel nitrate-reducing hyperthermophilic archaeum.

  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, []

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Weitzman, J.B. Crenarchaeon sequence. Genome Biol 3, spotlight-20020117-01 (2002).

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