Bacterial Mode of Replication with Eukaryotic-Like Machinery in a Hyperthermophilic Archaeon

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Science  23 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5474, pp. 2212-2215
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5474.2212

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Despite a rapid increase in the amount of available archaeal sequence information, little is known about the duplication of genetic material in the third domain of life. We identified a single origin of bidirectional replication in Pyrococcus abyssi by means of in silico analyses of cumulative oligomer skew and the identification of an early replicating chromosomal segment. The replication origin in three Pyrococcus species was found to be highly conserved, and several eukaryotic-like DNA replication genes were clustered around it. As in Bacteria, the chromosomal region containing the replication terminus was a hot spot of genome shuffling. Thus, although bacterial and archaeal replication proteins differ profoundly, they are used to replicate chromosomes in a similar manner in both prokaryotic domains.

  • * Present address: Department of Microbiology, Universidad Miguel Hernández, 03550 San Juan de Alicante, Spain.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: forterre{at}

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