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2003 Annual Science Report

University of Washington Reporting  |  JUL 2002 – JUN 2003

Evolution of Biocomplexity From an Ancient Autotrophic Lineage

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

The genome sequence of Methanococcus maripaludis is key to studying the evolution of the methanococcal lineage. The genome sequence has been assembled into a single contig and only a small 2 kb region still needs work. We have manually annotated (inferred function) for 40% of the 1,800 genes. Another goal of the project is to use the genetic tools available for M. maripaludis, in concert with the genome sequence, to identify the minimal set of genes that is essential for viability. For this purpose and others, we have devised an efficient method for producing gene deletions in M. maripaludis. In addition, we carried out a study of the M. maripaludis formate dehydrogenases. Mutagenesis indicated that either of two formate dehydrogenases can function in growth on formate. Formate dehydrogenase gene expression was controlled by hydrogen. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the two formate dehydrogenases arose by gene duplication within the methanococcal lineage.

    John Leigh
    Maynard Olson

    Erik Hendrickson

    Jeremy Dodsworth
    Unspecified Role

    Objective 3.2
    Origins and evolution of functional biomolecules

    Objective 3.3
    Origins of energy transduction

    Objective 4.1
    Earth's early biosphere

    Objective 4.2
    Foundations of complex life

    Objective 5.1
    Environment-dependent, molecular evolution in microorganisms

    Objective 5.3
    Biochemical adaptation to extreme environments

    Objective 6.1
    Environmental changes and the cycling of elements by the biota, communities, and ecosystems