DATABASE: Get to Know Your Inner Microbe

Science  29 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5637, pp. 1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5637.1163d

Inside a eukaryotic cell, structures called mitochondria and chloroplasts perform the jobs of releasing energy from food and (in plants) capturing sunlight. These organelles tote their own DNA, a vestige of their ancestry as independent bacteria. GOBASE, a collection of chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes sponsored by the University of Montreal in Canada, supplies plenty of information for researchers probing everything from the evolution of these partnerships to the interplay between mitochondrial and nuclear genes. The database holds partial and complete genome sequences from a slew of plants, animals, protists, and fungi. You can also get the lowdown on functions of organelle proteins and uncover gene maps and diagrams of RNA structures for some species.

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