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Caenorhabditis briggsae.
Caenorhabditis briggsae (Eukaryota)
This small worm lives in the soil and feeds on bacteria. It has versions of organs found in people and also some of the same genes, as does its cousin Caenorhabditis elegans, which is commonly used in genetics research.
» Sequenced by: Cold Spring Harbor, Sanger Institute and others.  Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Scott Baird
Caenorhabditis elegans.
Caenorhabditis elegans (Eukaryota)
Found in soil in temperate climates, this worm has a transparent body and is used by scientists to explore basic questions in biology, such as how cells develop and specialize. The worm grows to be a millimeter in length and has a nervous system that can detect smells and tastes.

» Sequenced by: Sanger Institute & Washington University  Abstract
» Related GNN article: A Nobel worm
Campylobacter jejuni. Courtesy Legionnaires' Disease.
Campylobacter jejuni (Bacteria)
More common than Salmonella, this bacterium is a leading cause of food poisoning and diarrhea worldwide. It is often found in chickens and some cattle, and people can become infected through contact with uncooked meat. The bacterium survives routine food preparation but is killed by proper cooking.

» Sequenced by: Sanger Institute C. jejuni NCTC 11168 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Legionnaires' Disease
Candida glabrata (Eukaryota)
This yeast lives in the body and can cause candidiasis, the clinical name for a variety of infections that includes diaper rash and yeast infection. It can also cause life-threatening illnesses in people whose immune systems are weak. The organism was sequenced as part of a study that compared five species of yeast.

» Sequenced in 2004 by Institut Pasteur and others C. glabrata Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Doctor Fungus Corporation
Caulobacter crescentus in the last stage of cell division. Courtesy Yves. A. Brun.
Canis familiaris (Eukaryota)
Dogs get many of the same diseases as people, including cancer, heart disease and epilepsy. The genomes of two dogs, a Standard Poodle named Shadow and a Boxer name Tasha, have been sequenced. The earliest dogs probably originated in Asia and migrated with their owners across the Bering Strait to the New World.

» Shadow sequenced in 2003 by TIGR Abstract
» Tasha sequenced in 2004 by Broad Institute and Agencourt Bioscience Corporation
» Image courtesy TIGR.
Caulobacter crescentus in the last stage of cell division. Courtesy Yves. A. Brun.
Caulobacter crescentus (Bacteria)
Found in lakes, streams, and even bottled spring water, this bacterium does not harm people but has some of the same genes as common pathogens. Scientists use the organism to study “asymmetric” cell division because when it divides it produces two different types of cells.

» Sequenced by: TIGR C. crescentus CB15 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Genome sequence of the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus
» Image: Courtesy Yves V. Brun
Circular genome map of Chlamydia muridarum.
Chlamydia muridarum (Bacteria)
Originally isolated from an albino mouse and later found in hamsters, this bacterium is a cousin of the bacterium that causes chlamydia and other diseases in people, Chlamydia trachomatis. The strain that infects mice is used in research on the human pathogen.

» Sequenced by: TIGR C. muridarum strain MoPn (Nigg) Abstract
Chlamydia trachomatis inclusions (green/yellow) in infected genital epithelial cells (red). Courtesy of Priscilla B. Wyrick.
Chlamydia trachomatis (Bacteria)
This bacterium causes the disease chlamydia, which is transmitted sexually and can damage a woman’s reproductive organs, leading in some cases to infertility. It also causes the eye disease trachoma, which is a relatively common cause of blindness in developing countries.

» Sequenced by: UC Berkeley & Stanford C. trachomatis serovar D Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Priscilla B. Wyrick
Chlamydia psittaci. Courtesy CDC.
Chlamydophila caviae (Bacteria)
This bacterium causes eye infections in guinea pigs and is used to study the bacterium that infects the human eye and can cause blindness, Chlamydia trachomatis. It used to be known as Chlamydia psittaci.

» Sequenced by: TIGR C. caviae GPIC Abstract
» Image: Courtesy CDC
Chlamydia pneumoniae J138. Courtesy Mutsunori Shirai, Yamaguchi University, Japan.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae (Bacteria)
A major cause of pneumonia and bronchitis in people around the world, this bacterium has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and coronary artery disease. Once thought to infect humans exclusively, the pathogen has recently turned up in horses and koalas.

» Sequenced by: Altanta Pharmaceuticals C. pneumoniae TW183 Unpublished
TIGR C. pneumoniae AR39 Abstract
UC Berkeley and Stanford C. pneumoniae CWL029 Abstract
Yamaguchi University
and Kyushu University C. pneumoniae J138 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Mutsunori Shirai, Yamaguchi University, Japan
An electron micrograph of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum. Courtesy Niels-Ulrik Frigaard.
Chlorobium tepidum (Bacteria)
This green bacterium has a remarkable capacity for generating energy from light and is used by scientists to study the evolution of photosynthesis. It lives in sulfuric environments, and the sequenced strain was isolated from a hot spring in New Zealand.

» Sequenced by: TIGR C. tepidum TLS Abstract
» Related GNN article: Light-harvesting bacterium C. tepidum is sequenced
» Image: Courtesy Niels-Ulrik Frigaard
C. burnetti within vacuole of host cell. Courtesy Robert Henizen
Chromobacterium violaceum (Bacteria)
Found in soil and water in the tropics and the subtropics, this bacterium produces a purple pigment called violacein that seems to be a natural agent against some tropical pathogens. The organism rarely infects humans, but when it does the infection is usually fatal.

» Sequenced by: Brazilian National Genome Project Consortium C. violaceum type ATCC 12472 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Helano Stuckert/UNB AGENCIACitando
Courtesy DOE Joint Genome Institute.
Ciona intestinalis (Eukaryota)
Commonly known as the sea squirt, this animal lives in shallow ocean water. It starts life as a tadpole but later attaches to a rock and transforms into a tubular creature. The sea squirt genome is helping researchers piece together the evolutionary history of vertebrates and invertebrates.

» Sequenced by: DOE Joint Genome Institute C. instestinalis Abstract
» Related GNN article: Sea squirt spouts its genome
» Image: Courtesy DOE Joint Genome Institute
Clostridium acetobutylicum. Courtesy Andrew Goldenkranz, Aptos High School Health/ The Microbe Menagerie!
Clostridium acetobutylicum (Bacteria)
During World War I, this bacterium was used by the British to generate the solvent acetone, which was needed to make artillery shells. The organism can convert starch into acetone and butanol.

» Sequenced by: Genome Therapeutics C. acetobutylicum ATCC 824 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Andrew Goldenkranz, Aptos High School Health/ The Microbe Menagerie!
Clostridium perfringens bacteria on a blood agar plate. Courtesy Glenn Songer, The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Clostridium perfringens (Bacteria)
This bacterium has caused outbreaks of food poisoning at prison cafeterias, banquets, and other places where large quantities of food are prepared ahead and left out before being served. It lives in the environment and also the intestines of humans and some animals.

» Sequenced by: University of Tsukuba C. perfringens 13 Abstract
» Related GNN article: The genome sequence of the flesh-eating Clostridium perfringens
» Image: Courtesy Glenn Songer, The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Clostridium tetani (Bacteria)
Found in soil and dust everywhere, this bacterium causes the disease tetanus. It enters the body through a wound and produces toxins that can cause muscle spasms and painful convulsions. Tetanus is rare in nations that vaccinate infants against the disease but remains a leading cause of death among children in the developing world.

» Sequenced by: Göttingen Genomics Laboratory C. tetani E88 Abstract
Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Corynebacterium efficiens (Bacteria)
Corynebacteria are used commercially to produce amino acids and other materials. Since the discovery in the 1950s that these bacteria could produce large amounts of glutamic acid, researchers have genetically modified strains to increase their yields.

» Sequenced by: NITE and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. C. efficiens YS-314T Unpublished
» Image: Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Corynebacterium diphtheriae
Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Bacteria)
This bacterium causes the respiratory illness diphtheria by infecting the throat and releasing toxins that leave a grey film and block the airway. Vaccination programs have controlled diphtheria in much of the world, but outbreaks still occur in the former Soviet Union. Hippocrates first described the disease in the 5th Century B.C.

» Sequenced by: The Sanger Institute C. diphtheriae NCTC13129  Abstract
» Image: Courtesy CDC
C. burnetti within vacuole of host cell. Courtesy Robert Henizen
Coxiella burnetii (Bacteria)
This bacterium causes Q fever, an illness that leaves a person incapacitated for several weeks with a debilitating headache and fever. The organism is found all over the world and lives primarily in cattle, sheep, and goats. It can be turned into an aerosol and is considered a potential biological weapon.

» Sequenced by: TIGR C. burnetii RSA 493 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Potential Bioweapon: Q Fever Genome Is Sequenced
» Image: Courtesy Robert Henizen
Cryptosporidium hominis (Eukaryota)
Found in rivers and lakes around the world, this parasite gets into drinking water and causes diarrhea in healthy people. It can also cause more serious illnesses in people who have weak immune systems. Unlike its cousin Cryptosporidium parvum, which infects people and animals, this parasite infects only people.

» C. hominis sequenced in 2004 by Virginia Commonwealth University and Tufts University Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Saul Tzipori, Tufts
Cryptosporidium parvum (Eukaryota)
Every summer this parasite poses a potential threat to people who frequent public swimming pools. It lives in water everywhere, including lakes, pools, and drinking water. When swallowed, the parasite infects the intestines, causing diarrhea in healthy people and more serious illnesses in those who have weak immune systems.

» C. parvum sequenced in 2004 by University of Minnesota and Tufts Abstract
» Related GNN Article: Deadly Human Parasite Sequenced
» Image: Courtesy Tufts
Cyanidioschyzon merolae (Eukaryota)
This red alga lives in acidic hot springs and carries out photosynthesis. The first species of algae to be sequenced, the organism consists of a single cell that has three smaller compartments, each containing DNA.

» Sequenced by: Rikkyo University C. merolae 10D Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa/Rikkyo University
Deinococcus radiodurans. Copyright Michael Daly.
Debaryomyces hansenii (Eukaryota)
Often found on fish and salted dairy products like cheese, this yeast tolerates high concentrations of salt. It is related to yeasts that cause disease, including Candida albicans. The organism was sequenced as part of a study that compared five species of yeast.

» Sequenced in 2004 by Institut Pasteur and others D. hansenii Abstract
» Image: Courtesy MS Office.
Deinococcus radiodurans. Copyright Michael Daly.
Deinococcus radiodurans (Bacteria)
Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most radiation-resistant organism known, this bacterium can survive a thousand times more radiation than a person can. Although radiation shatters the organism’s DNA, it repairs the genome in a matter of hours. Cancer researchers and others study the organism to learn how cells repair damaged DNA.

» Sequenced by: TIGR D. radiodurans R1 Abstract
» Related GNN articles: Microbe’s donut-shaped genome packs a punch
The World’s Toughest Bacterium: Deinococcus radiodurans may be a tool for cleaning up toxic waste and more
» Image:© Michael Daly.
Desulfotalea psychrophila (Bacteria)
Found in permanently cold sediments at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean and other places, this bacterium can grow at temperatures as low as -1.8° C (29° F). It breaks down sulfur and probably plays an important role in global energy cycles.

» D. psychrophila strain LSv54 sequenced in 2004 by Max-Planck Institute Abstract
» Image: Departement of Geophysics, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
Desulfovibrio vulgaris (Bacteria)
Commonly found in oil fields, this bacterium is an expensive pest to the petroleum industry. It breaks down metals and can corrode the machinery used to drill, pump, and store oil. But the microbe also breaks down pollutants and could potentially be used to clean up the environment.

» Sequenced by: TIGR D. vulgaris Hildenborough Abstract
» Image: Courtesy John Heidelberg/TIGR
Drosophila melanogaster and map.
Drosophila melanogaster (Eukaryota)
The fruit fly has been a tool of geneticists since the early 1900s, when it was used to test the laws of genetics. Flies have versions of many genes found in humans, and among the areas of human biology studied in the fly are circadian rhythms, tolerance to alcohol, and longevity.

» Sequenced by: Celera Genomics & Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project  Abstract
» Related GNN articles:
Mapping the most primal sense
The Homophila Database: Screening the fly genome for human disease genes
The Humanized Fly
A scanning electron micrograph of Encephalitozoon cuniculi spores inside a human host cell. Courtesy P. Keeling, B. Koudela and Nature.
Encephalitozoon cuniculi (Eukaryota)
This parasite belongs to a group of single-celled organisms called microsporidia, which are found throughout the animal world. They survive by living inside other cells. When the parasites infect humans, they cause a variety of illnesses, including diarrhea, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

» Sequenced by: Genoscope  Abstract
» Related GNN article: Reduced and specialized: The genome of the parasite E. cuniculi
» Image: Courtesy P. Keeling, B. Koudela and Nature
Erwinia carotovora (Bacteria)
This pathogen infects potatoes throughout the world. It causes the diseases “blackleg” in developing tubers and “soft rot” in harvested potatoes. Infected potatoes have mushy spots with black borders and can have a foul odor.

» Sequenced in 2004 by The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute E. carotovora subsp. atroseptica Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Gary D. Kleinschmidt, University of California Statewide IPM Program
Enterococcus faecalis (Bacteria)
This bacterium can live peacefully in the human gut or cause harmful infections in surgical wounds and the urinary tract, among other places. Many strains are resistant to antibiotics. The bacterium has acquired considerable DNA from other microbes, including probably genes for resisting drugs.

» Sequenced by: TIGR E. faecalis V583 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Mobile DNA: Genomic Studies Illuminate Antibiotic Resistance
» Image: © Gloria Delisle and Lewis Tamalty, ASM MicrobeLibrary
Escherichia coli. Courtesy The Donnenberg Laboratory.
Escherichia coli (Bacteria)
Found in the intestines of humans and animals, this bacterium is usually harmless, but some strains can cause food poisoning and more serious illnesses. Most outbreaks involve contaminated beef that was not cooked thoroughly. The strain known as O157:H7 is considered a potential biological weapon.

» Sequenced by: University of Wisconsin E. coli K-12 Abstract
University of Wisconsin E. coli O157:H7 EDL933 Abstract
Genome Information Research Center
E. coli O157:H7 Abstract
University of Wisconsin E. coli UPEC-CFT073 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Researchers sequence strain of E. coli linked to disease
» Image: Courtesy The Donnenberg Laboratory.
Scanning electron micrograph of Fusobacterium nucleatum cells (fusiform cells) coaggregating with Porphromonas gingivalis cells (coccobacillary cells). Courtesy Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Image provided by Susan Kinder Haake.
Fusobacterium nucleatum (Bacteria)
This bacterium is found in the dental plaque of humans and other primates. It is frequently associated with periodontitis, as well as infections of the head and neck, chest, lung, and liver.

» Sequenced by: Integrated Genomics F. nucleatum ATCC 25586 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Scientists sequence oral pathogen Fusobacterium nucleatum
» Image: Courtesy Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Image provided by Susan Kinder Haake.
Gallus gallus (Eukaryota)
The chicken has long been used by biologists to study how embryos develop, and chicken researchers have contributed knowledge about viruses and cancer. The sequenced DNA came from the Red Jungle Fowl, a wild ancestor of the domestic chicken. This is the first bird to have its genome sequenced.

» Sequenced in 2004 by Washington University Genome Sequencing Center
» News about Chickens
» Image Courtesy Bill Payne/Michigan State University, Lansing.
x 43k image of Gloeobacter violaceus
Gloeobacter violaceus (Bacteria)
This is a type of cyanobacteria, which live in water and carry out photosynthesis. This organism performs photosynthesis in a different part of the cell than most of its relatives. The sequenced strain was found in rock in Switzerland.

» Sequenced by: DNA Research Institute G. violaceus PCC 7421
» Image: Courtesy S.Sekida, Kochi University.
x 43k image of Gloeobacter violaceus
Geobacter sulfurreducens (Bacteria)
This microbe breaks down metals and is being used to clean up uranium at toxic waste sites. It changes uranium into an insoluble form that falls out of groundwater and can be safely collected. The microbe also generates electricity and could be used to power batteries of the future.

» Sequenced by: TIGR G. sulfurreducens
» Related GNN Article: Super Microbe Cleans Up Uranium
» Image: Courtesy University of Massachusetts.
False color image of Guillardia theta. Courtesy David Hill.
Guillardia theta (Eukaryota)
Some algae such as this one have both a nucleus and a second smaller nucleus called a nucleomorph, which was probably acquired hundreds of millions of years ago. The nucleomorph genome of this organism is tiny and packed with genes.

» Sequenced by: Institute for Marine Biosciences, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Philipps University & University of British Columbia  Abstract
» Related GNN article: Remnants of an algae's distant past
» Image: Courtesy David Hill

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