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Life 2016, 6(3), 37; doi:10.3390/life6030037

Bipyrimidine Signatures as a Photoprotective Genome Strategy in G + C-rich Halophilic Archaea

Great Salt Lake Institute and Biology Program, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Aharon Oren
Received: 12 July 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
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Abstract

Halophilic archaea experience high levels of ultraviolet (UV) light in their environments and demonstrate resistance to UV irradiation. DNA repair systems and carotenoids provide UV protection but do not account for the high resistance observed. Herein, we consider genomic signatures as an additional photoprotective strategy. The predominant forms of UV-induced DNA damage are cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, most notoriously thymine dimers (T^Ts), which form at adjacent Ts. We tested whether the high G + C content seen in halophilic archaea serves a photoprotective function through limiting T nucleotides, and thus T^T lesions. However, this speculation overlooks the other bipyrimidine sequences, all of which capable of forming photolesions to varying degrees. Therefore, we designed a program to determine the frequencies of the four bipyrimidine pairs (5’ to 3’: TT, TC, CT, and CC) within genomes of halophilic archaea and four other randomized sample groups for comparison. The outputs for each sampled genome were weighted by the intrinsic photoreactivities of each dinucleotide pair. Statistical methods were employed to investigate intergroup differences. Our findings indicate that the UV-resistance seen in halophilic archaea can be attributed in part to a genomic strategy: high G + C content and the resulting bipyrimidine signature reduces the genomic photoreactivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: halophilic archaea; DNA damage; DNA repair; photoprotection; cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer; bipyrimidine; genome evolution halophilic archaea; DNA damage; DNA repair; photoprotection; cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer; bipyrimidine; genome evolution
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jones, D.L.; Baxter, B.K. Bipyrimidine Signatures as a Photoprotective Genome Strategy in G + C-rich Halophilic Archaea. Life 2016, 6, 37.

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