Saturday, August 20, 2005

really really small genome

The smallest genome award goes to Mycoplasma genitalium, the "other" mycobacteria that gets passed around the lab. But it is an obligatory parasite. Well now our pal Craig Venter has sequenced the smallest genome for a self-sufficient bacteria. This little ocean bug named Pelagibacter ubique ("ubiquitous sea bacteria", how original), has no gene copies, no junk and a genome so streamlined it minimizes the amount of nitrogen used for replication. At just 1354 genes, its so small, so so small.