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From a hot spring in China, T. tengcongensis is sequenced


Scientists have sequenced a bacterium isolated from a hot spring in Tengchong, China, in 1998. The organism, Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis, grows optimally at 80 degrees Celsius and metabolizes sugars as the principal source of energy. It has a single circular chromosome of about 2.7 million base pairs and 2,588 genes.

Detail from map of the T. tengcongensis genome. View full

The T. tengcongensis genome project, which includes researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Beijing Genomics Institute, aims to discover insights into how organisms live in extreme environments. After sequencing the laboratory strain MB4T of T. tengcongensis, the team assigned biological functions to 68 percent of the predicted genes based on DNA sequence.

More than half the T. tengcongensis genes are 'extremely similar' to those of Bacillus halodurans. "Their overall genome similarity ranks the highest among all the sequenced genomes," the scientists write in Genome Research.

"The addition of the T. tengcongensis genome sequence to the growing list of sequenced microbes provides a pivotal view on the genome biology of thermophilic prokaryotes," they write.

For more information on the T. tengcongensis genome project see the Beijing Genomics Institute's Web site.

For more information on Bacillus halodurans see

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Bao, Q. et al. A complete sequence of the T. tengcongensis genome. Genome Res 12, 689-700 (May 2002).

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