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Sequence of the color purple

Knowledge of biotechnologically important bacteria could save the Brazilian rain forests

Cathy Holding(cholding@hgmp.mrc.ac.uk)

Sequencing the genomes of organisms can give insights into potential gene products and regulatory mechanisms that may yield biotechnological products. The free-living, gram-negative bacterium Chromobacterium violaceum—native to tropical and subtropical aquatic environments—produces compounds of known biotechnological importance. One of these is the violet pigment violacein, produced in response to quorum sensing (the ability of bacteria to coordinate gene expression in a bacteria density–dependent manner), but the potential of this organism has been incompletely explored. Ana Tereza Ribeiro de Vasconcelos at the Laboratorio Nacional de Computacao Cientifica in Brazil, together with over a hundred members of the Brazilian National Genome Project Consortium—comprising 29 sequencing and bioinformatics centers—report the full genome sequence of C. violaceum in the September 8 early edition of PNAS (PNAS, DOI:10.1073/pnas.1832124100, September 8, 2003).

The consortium sequenced C. violaceum strain ATCC 12472 using cosmid libraries in Lawrist 4 and pUC18 and annotated the sequence using their...

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