Metal ion-reducing bacteria, such as the facultatively aerobic Gram-positive Shewanella oneidensis, offer great potential for bioremediation and the elimination of pollutants like uranium and chromium. In an Advanced Online Publication in Nature Biotechnology, an international team led by Claire Fraser and colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research report the sequence of the S. oneidensis MR-1 genome (Nature Biotechnology, DOI:10.1038/nbt749, 7 October, 2002).

The genome is a circular chromosome of almost 5 megabases, encoding 4,758 predicted proteins — half of which could be assigned a biological function. The S. oneidensis iteron-type plasmid is 161 kilobases and contains 173 genes. Heidelberg et al. revealed a 51 kilobase lambda-like phage genome that they speculate may be a useful tool for genetic manipulation experiments. They identified 39 c-type cytochrome genes — more than any other sequenced organism — and also metal hydrogenases, genes involved in metabolism, electron transport, adaptation to...

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