Linking high GC content to the repair of double strand breaks in prokaryotic genomes

Autoři: Jake L. Weissman aff001;  William F. Fagan aff001;  Philip L. F. Johnson aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Biology, University of Maryland - College Park, College Park, Maryland, United States of America aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: Linking high GC content to the repair of double strand breaks in prokaryotic genomes. PLoS Genet 15(11): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008493
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008493


Genomic GC content varies widely among microbes for reasons unknown. While mutation bias partially explains this variation, prokaryotes near-universally have a higher GC content than predicted solely by this bias. Debate surrounds the relative importance of the remaining explanations of selection versus biased gene conversion favoring GC alleles. Some environments (e.g. soils) are associated with a high genomic GC content of their inhabitants, which implies that either high GC content is a selective adaptation to particular habitats, or that certain habitats favor increased rates of gene conversion. Here, we report a novel association between the presence of the non-homologous end joining DNA double-strand break repair pathway and GC content; this observation suggests that DNA damage may be a fundamental driver of GC content, leading in part to the many environmental patterns observed to-date. We discuss potential mechanisms accounting for the observed association, and provide preliminary evidence that sites experiencing higher rates of double-strand breaks are under selection for increased GC content relative to the genomic background.

Klíčová slova:

Comparative genomics – DNA repair – Genomic databases – Homologous recombination – Phylogenetic analysis – Phylogenetics – Non-homologous end joining – Prokaryotic cells


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