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Minimal Genome

17 Nov 2016

Bioinformatics Dr. Doping tells about the common ancestor genes, turning off the genes of Escherichia coli bacteria and competition.

What are the different approaches to defining the minimal genome? As implemented experimental gene research methods that are required?

There are several approaches to the definition of what is the minimum genome. First - it is evolutionary. It is based on the natural philosophy that if a certain gene is present in all organisms, you probably can not do without this gene. Here there is actually a deceit. Because when I say that the same gene is present in various organisms, the question arises, and how do I know that this is one and the same gene and that is all one and the same gene, when it is in three different genomes. The evolutionary definition is: we believe that this is one and the same gene, if they had a common ancestor and the history of this gene is exactly the same kind of history, that is, there were no duplications, and the genes differed only as a result of speciation.

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If you grow bacteria on a medium, the only source of carbon which is, for example, fructose, and you have killed conveyor fructose or killed enzyme which catalyses the first reaction of fructose nutrition, everything in your environment, except fructose, nothing, and the possibility you broke it. And if you are in the same environment pour glucose, it will be wonderful to live and thrive. So here we must say that we will let them grow a rich environment in which there is everything that she might need, and look on minimal genome such an environment. So people do, and it is also reasonable definition. It is softer than evolutionary. That is, the genes that are absolutely universal, evolutionarily lower than genes that are required for such an individual is turned off.

Experiments are now minimal genomes of most runs by Craig Venter, who was involved in the human genome, and then switched to the genomes of bacteria. Applied the idea that in doing so he is trying to sell, I, frankly, not very much. Because he has this idea that we are here to make a minimum genome, and then we will optionally add to it some pieces and do commissioned by the bacteria, "design", which we need. I do not really understand why it is technologically justified because we actually can do it now. We can take the E. coli - we have a set of technological strains - and they can do the same. But Venter says that there will not be anything extra. On the other hand, it certainly will not be anything extra, but at the same time will be quite of dead.

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