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A quick guide to...Sequenced Genomes.

The genomes of more than 180 organisms have been sequenced since 1995. The Quick Guide includes descriptions of these organisms and has links to sequencing centers and scientific abstracts.

» See the Complete List of Organisms


Written by Kate Ruder and Edward R. Winstead
Created for GNN by Mary S. Gibbs

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Aeropyrum pernix - Ultra-thin layer electron microscopic image.  Copyright Y. Sako, Kyoto University.
Aeropyrum pernix (Archaea)
This microbe was isolated from a hydrothermal vent on the ocean floor near Kodakara-Jima Island, Japan. It grows at temperatures up to 100°C (212°F) and is able to live in the presence of oxygen.

» Sequenced by: National Institute of Technology and Evaluation A. pernix K1 Abstract
» Image: © Y. Sako, Kyoto University.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens attached to a plant cell. Courtesy Martha Hawes.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Bacteria)
Found in soil worldwide, this bacterium infects the roots of plants and can cause fatal tumors in hundreds of species, including walnut trees and ornamental plants such as roses. It causes disease by transferring its own DNA into plant cells. In the laboratory, researchers use the bacterium experimentally to add genes to plants.
» Sequenced by: Cereon Genomics A. tumefaciens C58 (Cereon) Abstract
University of Washington A. tumefaciens C58 (U. Washington) Abstract
» Related GNN article:
The genome of Agrobacterium tumefaciens: A plant pathogen with a talent for transferring genes
» Image: Courtesy Martha Hawes.
Filaments of Anabaena. Courtesy Luc Brient.
Anabaena (Bacteria)
This microbe is a cyanobacterium, or blue-green alga. It has bead-like cells and lives in shallow water and damp soil everywhere. Cyanobacteria increase the nitrogen content of soil, and some species of Anabaena have been used as natural fertilizers in the cultivation of rice.
» Sequenced by: Kazusa DNA Research Institute Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Strings of pearls: The genome sequence of Anabaena
» Image: Courtesy Luc Brient.
Anopheles gambiae: adult female bloodfeeding on human skin.  Courtesy WHO/TDR/Stammers.
Anopheles gambiae (Eukaryota)
This mosquito is responsible for most of the cases of malaria in Africa. The insect transfers the parasite that causes malaria from person to person through mosquito bites. The global fight against malaria has been hindered by the growing number of mosquitoes that are resistant to insecticides.
» Sequenced by: Celera Genomics A. gambiae PEST Abstract
» Related GNN articles: The Parasite and the Mosquito: Malaria's deadly partners are sequenced
Flies and mosquitoes: A comparative analysis of distant relatives

» Image: Courtesy WHO/TDR/Stammers.
Apis mellifera (Eukaryota)
Endowed with a small brain but ample social skills, the honeybee is used to study genes involved in behavior and communication. The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, makes an abundance of honey, and the insect is prized by farmers around the world for pollinating crops.
» Sequenced in 2004 by Baylor College of Medicine
» Related GNN article: Honeybee Genome Buzzes Online
» Image courtesy USDA.
Aquifex aeolicus. Copyright K. O. Stetter & R. Rachel, University of Regensburg, Germany.
Aquifex aeolicus (Bacteria)
This bacterium lives in marine environments at temperatures up to 95°C (203°F). It has a specialized metabolism that allows it to process inorganic sources of energy.
» Sequenced by: Diversa A. aeolicus VF5 Abstract
» Image: © K. O. Stetter & R. Rachel, University of Regensburg, Germany.
Arabidopsis thaliana flower.
Arabidopsis thaliana (Eukaryota)
This was the first plant to be sequenced and is considered the species for investigating plant genetics. A member of the mustard family, the plant is popular among researchers because it grows in small spaces, lives about six weeks, and has a small genome.

» Sequenced by: The Arabidopsis Genome Initiative  Abstract
» Related GNN articles:
Paranoid but Popular: Mutant mouse-ear cress offers insight into natural plant resistance
Clickable genomics: Plans for virtual plant posted

SHATTERPROOF genes in Arabidopsis are good news for agriculture
What makes plants grow? The Arabidopsis genome knows
» Image: Peggy Greb/USDA.
Archaeoglobus fulgidus - platinum shadowed. Copyright K. O. Stetter & R. Rachel, University of Regensburg, Germany.
Archaeoglobus fulgidus (Archaea)
This microbe grows at extremely high temperatures and metabolizes sulfur. The organism is considered a pathogen because it produces the noxious gas hydrogen sulfide. Found in oil wells, it can diminish the quality of oil and create a hazardous environment for workers.

» Sequenced by: TIGR A. fulgidus DSM4304 Abstract
» Image: © K. O. Stetter & R. Rachel, University of Regensburg, Germany.
Ashbya gossypii (Eukaryota)
This fungus attacks cotton and some citrus fruits. But it also produces vitamin B-2, and some companies have used it to manufacture vitamins. The organism has a relatively small genome and grows into a long filament.

» Sequenced by: Bioznetrum der Universität Basel, Switzerland A. gossypii Abstract
» Related GNN article: Baker’s Yeast and Fungus Provide Clues to Evolution
» Image courtesy Peter Philippsen.
Colored scanning electron micrograph of an anthrax bacterium (Bacillus anthracis). Copyright CAMR, Barry Dowsett / Science Photo Library .
Bacillus anthracis (Bacteria)
The bacterium that causes anthrax typically infects animals, not people, and it has moved around the globe for centuries with the trade of animal hides and products made of animal bones. Genetic differences among strains are rare. When anthrax spores are inhaled by a person, toxins enter the body that can cause shock, liver damage, and death.

» B. anthracis Ames sequenced in 2003 by TIGR Abstract 1, Abstract 2
» B. anthracis Ames 0581 sequenced in 2004 by TIGR
» B. anthracis Sterne sequenced in 2004 by JGI
» B. anthracis Kruger B in 2004 by TIGR
» B. anthracis Western North America USA6153 in 2004 by TIGR
» B. anthracis Australia 94 in 2004 by TIGR
» B. anthracis CNEVA-9066 in 2004 by TIGR
» B. anthracis A1055 in 2004 by TIGR
» B. anthracis Vollum in 2004 by TIGR
» News about Anthrax
» Image: © CAMR, Barry Dowsett / Science Photo Library.
An EM photograph of a cross section of a Bacillus cereus spore. Courtesy Sue Charlton and Anne Moir, University of Sheffield.
Bacillus cereus (Bacteria)
Commonly found in soil, air, and water, this bacterium forms tough spores that enable it to survive harsh conditions. Most strains cause food poisoning, but some can cause a more severe illness that resembles inhalation anthrax. These strains may have acquired genes for toxins found in the anthrax bacterium, Bacillus anthracis.

» B. cereus ATCC 14579 sequenced in 2003 by Integrated Genomics Inc. and INRA Abstract
» B. cereus 10987 sequenced in 2004 by TIGR Abstract
» B. cereus G9241 sequenced in 2004 by TIGR Abstract
» B. cereus ZK sequenced in 2004 by JGI
» Image: Courtesy Sue Charlton & Anne Moir, University of Sheffield.
Physical map of the genome of the alkaliphilic bacterium Bacillus halodurans strain C-125. Courtesy Japan Marine Science and Technology Center.
Bacillus halodurans (Bacteria)
This bacterium produces many enzymes that have potential uses in manufacturing, including some additives in laundry detergents. It also produces a keratin-decomposing enzyme that could help in the disposal of materials such as hair and chicken feathers.

» Sequenced by: Japan Marine Science and Technology Center B. halodurans C-125 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Japan Marine Science and Technology Center.
Physical map of the genome of the alkaliphilic bacterium Bacillus halodurans strain C-125. Courtesy Japan Marine Science and Technology Center.
Bacillus licheniformis (Bacteria)
Found in soil everywhere, this bacterium has uses in biotechnology and medicine. Its proteins are present in some household detergents and a topical antibiotic. The bacterium is also an ingredient in a fungicide that gets rid of brown grass on playing fields and lawns.

» B. licheniformis DSM13 sequenced in 2004 by Göttingen Genomics Laboratory Abstract
» B. licheniformis ATCC 14580 sequenced in 2004 by Novozymes and AstraZeneca Abstract
Bacillus subtilis in the process of dividing. Courtesy Diane Montpetit, Food Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Bacillus subtilis (Bacteria)
This bacterium is closely related to the pathogens that cause pneumonia, botulism, and tuberculosis. The first “gram-positive” bacterium to be sequenced, it produces enzymes that have potential uses in manufacturing.

» Sequenced by: International consortium B. subtilis 168 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Diane Montpetit, Food Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Bacteroides fragilis (Bacteria)
This bacterium lives in the human intestine and helps us digest food. If the intestinal wall is ruptured, as can happen during abdominal surgery, the bacterium can get into the bloodstream and infect almost any part of the body. Unless treated with antibiotics, infections can be fatal.

» B. fragilis YCH46 sequenced in 2004 by University of Tokushima and Kitasato University Abstract
» Image: Sheila Patrick/Queen’s University of Belfast.
Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bacteria)
This resident of the human gut provides the body with nutrients by breaking down indigestible food remains. It dominates many of the bacteria competing for space in the human intestine in part because it adapts so easily to changes in the environment.

» Sequenced by: Washington University and AstraZeneca B. thetaiotaomicron VPI-5482 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Mobile DNA: Genomic Studies Illuminate Antibiotic Resistance
» Image: Courtesy J. Gordon.
Bartonella henselae (Bacteria)
This bacterium lives in cats but can be transferred to people through bites or scratches and may cause an illness known as cat scratch disease. Symptoms are mild but can become serious if a person has a weak immune system. In cats, the infection rarely causes symptoms; between 30 and 60 percent of cats in the United States may be infected.

» Sequenced in 2004 by Uppsala Univerity B. henselae strain Houston-1 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Mary Gibbs.
Bartonella quintana (Bacteria)
This human pathogen causes trench fever, a disease that affected more than one million soldiers during World War I and has reemerged among homeless individuals in some urban areas. Symptoms may include sudden fever, lack of energy and skin rashes. The bacterium is transmitted by the human body louse Pediculus humanus (pictured at left).

» Sequenced in 2004 by Uppsala Univerity B. quintana strain Toulose Abstract
» Image: Courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library.
Bifidobacterium longum (Bacteria)
An important resident of the human gastrointestinal tract, this bacterium helps keep the digestive system running smoothly, inhibits harmful bacteria, and boosts the immune system. It converts sugars into lactic acid.

» Sequenced by: Nestle Research Center and University of Georgia B. longum NCC2705 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Friendly tenants in the human gut: The genome of B. longum
» Image: Mark Schell, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (Bacteria)
This bacterium is found almost everywhere, including the human intestines. It reproduces by burrowing into another microbe, killing it, and then using nutrients from the remains to produce offspring. Among its victims are human pathogens and plant pathogens.

» Sequenced by: Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology B. bacteriovorus HD100 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Predator and Prey
» Image: Courtesy Stephan Schuster
Blochmannia floridanus (Bacteria)
The bacterium makes its home inside the abdomen of carpenter ants. The ant and microbe live in symbiosis, providing essential nutrients for one another. B. floridanus has eliminated genes for essential proteins that the host insect provides. It is one of five such insect-dependent bacteria that have been sequenced.

» Sequenced by: Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva B. blochmannia Abstract
» Related GNN article: Life Inside Carpenter Ants
» Image: Courtesy University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service
Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bacteria)
This bacterium infects the lungs of animals and can cause chronic respiratory problems in dogs, cats, pigs, and occasionally humans. Outbreaks of infection tend to occur in animal shelters, kennels, and veterinary clinics.

» Sequenced by: Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge B. bronchispetica RB50 NCTC-13252 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy CDC
Bordetella parapertussis (Bacteria)
A relative of the bacterium that causes whooping cough, this organism infects both humans and sheep. It usually causes a respiratory illness that is milder than whooping cough. Humans and sheep seem to carry different strains of the pathogen, which suggests that people have not been infected through contact with sheep.

» Sequenced by: Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge B. parapertussis 12822 NCTC 13253 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy USDA
Bordetella pertussis (Bacteria)
This bacterium causes whooping cough, the respiratory disease named for the “whooping” sound a person makes during coughing spells. When the organism infects the human body, it releases toxins that inflame the throat and lungs. The highly contagious disease is endemic in many developing countries.

» Sequenced by: Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge B. pertussis Tohama I NCTC-13251 Abstract
» Image: Courtesy Johnny L. Carson
Dark-field microscopic image of Borrelia burgdorferi. Copyright Jeffrey Nelson, ASM Microlibrary
Borrelia burgdorferi (Bacteria)
This bacterium lives inside ticks and causes Lyme disease in humans. In the early 1980s, the organism was isolated from the mid-gut of a tick called Ixodes scapularis, and subsequently from people with Lyme disease. It belongs to the group of spirochete bacteria.

» Sequenced by: TIGR B. burgdorferi B31 Abstract
» Image: © Jeffrey Nelson, ASM MicrobeLibrary.
Root nodules on soybean plant. Courtesy Hauke Hennecke.
Bradyrhizobium japonicum (Bacteria)
This bacterium forms bumps, or nodules, on the roots of soybean plants and provides its host with nitrogen, thereby reducing the need for fertilizers. The organism helps supply nitrogen to millions of acres of soybeans worldwide. The sequenced strain was isolated from a soybean nodule in Florida in 1957.

» Sequenced by: Kazusa DNA Research Institute B. japonicum USDA110 DNA Research - Abstract unavailable
» Related GNN article: Life at soybean’s roots
» Image: Courtesy Hauke Hennecke.
Sir David Bruce (1855-1931) isolated the bacterium of Malta fever in 1887.
Brucella melitensis (Bacteria)
This bacterium causes Malta fever, a highly contagious flu-like infection. It is considered a potential biological weapon by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Sir David Bruce, pictured here, isolated the microbe that bears his name in 1887.

» Sequenced by: University of Scranton & Integrated Genomics B. melitensis 16M Abstract
» Related GNN article: Sequencing Brucella melitensis, an obscure candidate for biological warfare
Brucella suis. Courtesy Steve M. Boyle, Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Brucella suis (Bacteria)
Considered a potential bioweapon, this bacterium causes a debilitating flu-like disease in people that is rarely fatal. One of six Brucella species, it primarily infects pigs, most commonly causing abortions and stillbirths. In the 1950s, the US military “weaponized” the organism, using it to arm artillery shells and bombs.

» Sequenced by: TIGR B. suis 1330 Abstract
» Related GNN article: Potential bioweapon, Brucella suis, is sequenced
» Image: Courtesy Steven M. Boyle, Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Aphids host Buchnera aphidicola. Copyright Science.
Buchnera aphidicola (Bacteria)
This bacterium is hosted by most species of aphids, the small soft-bodied insects that feed on plants. The symbiotic relationship between aphids and the bacterium has allowed both organisms to streamline their genomes by eliminating genes that are present in the other species.

» Sequenced by: University of Tokyo & RIKEN GSC B. aphidicola sp. APS Abstract
University of Uppsala B. aphidicola sp. SG Abstract
Centro de Astrobiologia, Spain Valencia University & CNB B. aphidicola BP Abstract
» Related GNN articles: Inside insects, life is unchanged for 50 million years
: the genomic evolution of a bacterium

» Image: © Science.
Burkholderia mallei (Bacteria)
Used as a biological weapon in the American Civil War and both World Wars, this bacterium can be turned into an aerosol and is still considered a potential weapon. It causes glanders, which is mainly a horse disease but in rare cases affects humans. First described by Hippocrates in 425 B.C., glanders is difficult to diagnose and often fatal.

» B. mallei ATCC23344 sequenced in 2004 by TIGR Abstract
» Image: David DeShazer, USAMRIID.
Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bacteria)
Found in the rice paddies and wet soil of East Asia, this bacterium causes melioidosis, a disease known as “the great mimicker” because its symptoms suggest other diseases. The bacterium can lie dormant in the human body for decades, as happened to a Vietnam veteran who became ill 26 years after returning to the United States.

» B. pseudomallei strain K96243 sequenced in 2004 by Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Abstract
» Image: PNAS.

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