Linking high GC content to the repair of double strand breaks in prokaryotic genomes.

07:00 EST 8th November 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Linking high GC content to the repair of double strand breaks in prokaryotic genomes."

Genomic GC content varies widely among microbes for reasons unknown. While mutation bias partially explains this variation, prokaryotes near-universally have a higher GC content than predicted solely by this bias. Debate surrounds the relative importance of the remaining explanations of selection versus biased gene conversion favoring GC alleles. Some environments (e.g. soils) are associated with a high genomic GC content of their inhabitants, which implies that either high GC content is a selective adaptation to particular habitats, or that certain habitats favor increased rates of gene conversion. Here, we report a novel association between the presence of the non-homologous end joining DNA double-strand break repair pathway and GC content; this observation suggests that DNA damage may be a fundamental driver of GC content, leading in part to the many environmental patterns observed to-date. We discuss potential mechanisms accounting for the observed association, and provide preliminary evidence that sites experiencing higher rates of double-strand breaks are under selection for increased GC content relative to the genomic background.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PLoS genetics
ISSN: 1553-7404
Pages: e1008493


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