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Circular representation of the B anthracis genome
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Circular representation of the B. anthracis genome

June 14, 2010
Circular representation of the B. anthracis genome. The outermost two circles indicate start site of genes and assigned roles. Circle 1 consists of forward-strand gene products. Circle 2 consists of reverse strand gene products. Colors represent each of the following role categories: amino acid biosynthesis (violet); biosynthesis of cofactors (light blue); cell envelope (light green); cellular processes (red); central intermediary metabolism (brown); DNA metabolism (gold); energy metabolism (light gray); fatty acid and phospholipids metabolism (magenta); hypothetical proteins (blue); other categories (salmon); protein fate (pink); protein synthesis (pink); purines, pyrimidines, nucleosides and nucleotides (orange); regulatory functions (olive); signal transduction (olive); transcription (dark green); transport and binding proteins (blue-green); unknown function (gray). Circle 3 is the result of BLASTP alignment of each B. anthracis protein to B. cereus 10987. Results are expressed as the ratio of log10(E-score of self-match)/-log10(E-score of best match in B. cereus). Color of the ticks represents ratio: gold (<0.1), blue (0.1-0.6), violet (> 0.6 ). Circle 4 is the same analyses as circle 4 for B. subtilis, with the same color scheme. Circle 5 shows, for each B. anthracis protein, whether the most similar protein, using BLASTP search against all currently completed genomes, is from B. subtilus or B. halodurans (red); L. innocula, or L. monocytogenes (olive); or any other genome (blue). Circle 6 indicates location of other important features: 5S rRNA (red); 16S rRNA (green); 23S rRNA (blue); tRNA (gold); sRNA (light green); prophage (light blue sectors); introns (dark blue). Circle 7 G+C skew plot, negative scores below the circumference, positive scores above. Circle 8 Chi2 plots of trinucleotide trends compared to the rest of the genome. (Date of Image: November 2005) More about this Image In the months following the Sept. 11 attacks, scientists played a critical role in analyzing materials from the first known victim of the 2001 mailed-letter assault that exposed 22 people along the East Coast to Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax. Experts at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and Northern Arizona University identified genetic markers that distinguished the Florida Bacillus from closely related strains, pioneering the use of genomics for forensic analysis of microbes. Previous analyses of genetic markers focused on a limited number of DNA segments rather than the entire microbe genome. Led by Timothy Read and Claire Fraser of TIGR, the scientists discovered that the Florida Bacillus -- came from a 1981 strain found in a Texas cowa strain that researchers had later used in experiments at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Md.