Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

New environments, versatile genomes

Abstract

In this month's column we discuss three genome projects that reveal different aspects of microbial diversity and adaptability to different environmental niches; an impressively large community metagenomic sequencing project that has provided an enormous amount of data from a nutrient-poor aquatic environment; the sequence of an oral spirochete, Treponema denticola, which illustrates how readily related microorganisms adapt to different niches in the human body; and the first genome of a Wolbachia species, which sheds light on these fascinating bacterial manipulators of invertebrate biology.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Prochlorococcus, the smallest of the marine phytoplankton, and the genus with the smallest known genomes of any oxygen-generating photosynthetic organism.
Figure 2: Transmission electron micrograph of Wolbachia inside an insect spermatid cell.

References

  1. 1

    Tyson, G. W. et al. Community structure and metabolism through reconstruction of microbial genomes from the environment. Nature 428, 37–43 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Venter, J. C. et al. Environmental genome shotgun sequencing of the Sargasso Sea. Science 304, 66–74 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Nascimento, A. L. et al. Comparative genomics of two Leptospira interrogans serovars reveals novel insights into physiology and pathogenesis. J. Bacteriol. 186, 2164–2172 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Seshadri, R. et al. Comparison of the genome of the oral pathogen Treponema denticola with other spirochete genomes. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101, 5646–5651 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Fraser, C. M. et al. Complete genome sequence of Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete. Science 281, 375–388 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Fraser, C. M. et al. Genomic sequence of a Lyme disease spirochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Nature 390, 580–586 (1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Wu, M. et al. Phylogenomics of the reproductive parasite Wolbachia pipientis wMel: a streamlined genome overrun by mobile genetic elements. PLoS Biol. 2, E69 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Fuhrman, J. Genome sequences from the sea. Nature 424, 1001–1002 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Related links

Related links

DATABASES

Entrez

Bacteroides fragilis

Borrelia burgdorferi

Drosophila melanogaster

Treponema denticola

Treponema pallidum

Wolbachia pipientis wMel

FURTHER INFORMATION

The Pathogen Sequencing Unit

Ocean Genomics Web Focus

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cerdeño-Tárraga, A., Crossman, L. & Parkhill, J. New environments, versatile genomes. Nat Rev Microbiol 2, 446–447 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro910

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing