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Factors Behind Junk DNA in Bacteria
Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València, Apartado Postal 22085, 46071 València, Spain
Genómica y Salud, Centro Superior de Investigación en Salud Pública (CSISP), Avenida de Cataluña 21, 46020 Valencia, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2012; in revised form: 11 September 2012 / Accepted: 25 September 2012 / Published: 12 October 2012
Abstract: Although bacterial genomes have been traditionally viewed as being very compact, with relatively low amounts of repetitive and non-coding DNA, this view has dramatically changed in recent years. The increase of available complete bacterial genomes has revealed that many species present abundant repetitive DNA (i.e., insertion sequences, prophages or paralogous genes) and that many of these sequences are not functional but can have evolutionary consequences as concerns the adaptation to specialized host-related ecological niches. Comparative genomics analyses with close relatives that live in non-specialized environments reveal the nature and fate of this bacterial junk DNA. In addition, the number of insertion sequences and pseudogenes, as well as the size of the intergenic regions, can be used as markers of the evolutionary stage of a genome.
Keywords: junk DNA; pseudogenes; intergenic regions (IGR); insertion sequences (IS); genome degradation
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Gil, R.; Latorre, A. Factors Behind Junk DNA in Bacteria. Genes 2012, 3, 634-650.
Gil R, Latorre A. Factors Behind Junk DNA in Bacteria. Genes. 2012; 3(4):634-650.
Gil, Rosario; Latorre, Amparo. 2012. "Factors Behind Junk DNA in Bacteria." Genes 3, no. 4: 634-650.