Friday, 8 May 2015

Re-examining microbe behaviour

Some wild microorganisms, found in nature and not grown in the laboratory, reinterpret the instructions coded into their DNA. Short segments of DNA that signal other organisms to stop adding building blocks or amino acids to a protein are instead interpreted as "add another amino acid."

The data from these wild microbes helps researchers realize that some preconceived notions of microbial behavior may not be accurate because they are based on data from the small fraction of microbes that have been cultivated and studied in a laboratory.

For further details, see:

N. N. Ivanova, P. Schwientek, H. J. Tripp, C. Rinke, A. Pati, M. Huntemann, A. Visel, T. Woyke, N. C. Kyrpides, E. M. Rubin. Stop codon reassignments in the wild. Science, 2014; 344 (6186): 909 DOI: 10.1126/science.1250691

Posted by Tim Sandle