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Title: The Life-cycle of Operons

Abstract

Operons are a major feature of all prokaryotic genomes, buthow and why operon structures vary is not well understood. To elucidatethe life-cycle of operons, we compared gene order between Escherichiacoli K12 and its relatives and identified the recently formed anddestroyed operons in E. coli. This allowed us to determine how operonsform, how they become closely spaced, and how they die. Our findingssuggest that operon evolution may be driven by selection on geneexpression patterns. First, both operon creation and operon destructionlead to large changes in gene expression patterns. For example, theremoval of lysA and ruvA from ancestral operons that contained essentialgenes allowed their expression to respond to lysine levels and DNAdamage, respectively. Second, some operons have undergone acceleratedevolution, with multiple new genes being added during a brief period.Third, although genes within operons are usually closely spaced becauseof a neutral bias toward deletion and because of selection against largeoverlaps, genes in highly expressed operons tend to be widely spacedbecause of regulatory fine-tuning by intervening sequences. Althoughoperon evolution may be adaptive, it need not be optimal: new operonsoften comprise functionally unrelated genes that were already inproximity before the operon formed.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Director. Office of Science. Biological andEnvironmental Research
OSTI Identifier:
922706
Report Number(s):
LBNL-60281
R&D Project: VGTLAA; BnR: KP1102010; TRN: US200804%%885
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: PLoS Genetics; Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 6; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: June 2006
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59; DNA DAMAGES; ESCHERICHIA COLI; GENES; LIFE CYCLE; LYSINE; REMOVAL; Evolutionary Biology

Citation Formats

Price, Morgan N., Arkin, Adam P., and Alm, Eric J. The Life-cycle of Operons. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Price, Morgan N., Arkin, Adam P., & Alm, Eric J. The Life-cycle of Operons. United States.
Price, Morgan N., Arkin, Adam P., and Alm, Eric J. Thu . "The Life-cycle of Operons". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/922706.
@article{osti_922706,
title = {The Life-cycle of Operons},
author = {Price, Morgan N. and Arkin, Adam P. and Alm, Eric J.},
abstractNote = {Operons are a major feature of all prokaryotic genomes, buthow and why operon structures vary is not well understood. To elucidatethe life-cycle of operons, we compared gene order between Escherichiacoli K12 and its relatives and identified the recently formed anddestroyed operons in E. coli. This allowed us to determine how operonsform, how they become closely spaced, and how they die. Our findingssuggest that operon evolution may be driven by selection on geneexpression patterns. First, both operon creation and operon destructionlead to large changes in gene expression patterns. For example, theremoval of lysA and ruvA from ancestral operons that contained essentialgenes allowed their expression to respond to lysine levels and DNAdamage, respectively. Second, some operons have undergone acceleratedevolution, with multiple new genes being added during a brief period.Third, although genes within operons are usually closely spaced becauseof a neutral bias toward deletion and because of selection against largeoverlaps, genes in highly expressed operons tend to be widely spacedbecause of regulatory fine-tuning by intervening sequences. Althoughoperon evolution may be adaptive, it need not be optimal: new operonsoften comprise functionally unrelated genes that were already inproximity before the operon formed.},
doi = {},
journal = {PLoS Genetics},
number = 6,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}