Codon Usage Analysis of Genes in 24 Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

Jolić, Dino (2011) Codon Usage Analysis of Genes in 24 Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria. Diploma thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Nitrogen is one of the limiting nutrients for plant growth. Biological fixation in microorganisms transforms atmospheric nitrogen into forms which are accessible to plants. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria or diazotrophs are generally free living but are able to form a symbiotic association with plants. The most abundant diazotrophs are known as rhizobia, mainly constituted of Alphaproteobacteria. Frankia species are the most recently discovered nitrogen-fixing bacteria which form a symbiotic association with plants of 8 different genera, compared to rhizobia which are able to form a symbiotic association only with legumes. Comparing symbiotic-related genes which are needed for the initiation and maintenance of symbiosis and nitrogen-fixation, relationships have been detected which point to horizontal gene transfer and the ability to acquire the aforementioned functional features. Analyzing the codon usage in diazotrophs of (non)symbiotic associations with plants, I researched the functional characteristics of genes unique to nitrogen-fixing organisms as well as differences among them. According to differences in codon usage I found genes which are related to symbiotic nitrogen-fixation and postulated the existence of horizontal gene transfer of these genes among different bacterial species. I classified the inspected organism into groups, based on the functional profiles created, which bear similarities with their lifestyle and/or phylogeny based on 16S rRNA.

Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
Keywords: diazotrophy, endophyte, functional profiles, horizontal gene transfer, rhizobia, symbiosis
Supervisor: Vlahoviček, Kristian
Co-supervisor: Roller Milošević, Maša
Date: 2011
Number of Pages: 98
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Grozdana Sirotic
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2014 08:40
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2014 08:52

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