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Systems Biology Provides Clues to Bacteria with Bioremediation Potential

An American research team has taken a systems biology approach to understanding the diversity found in Shewanella ā€” a bacterial genus touted for its bioremediation potential.

The researchers brought together genomic, proteomic, and physiological data for ten Shewanella strains in order to get a better sense of how genotype relates to phenotype. The work, scheduled to appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests relationships between the strains are more complicated than previously appreciated, with related strains not necessarily sharing the same functions.

In the past, a great deal of bacterial classification has been based on phenotype, physiology, and comparisons between known species. But the genetic aspect of this classification has usually been limited to sequence data from 16S rRNA genes. Now, researchers are integrating information from genomic and proteomic work to clarify this bacterial classification.

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