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A Prophage Masquerade

Small Things Considered blogger Merry Youle has authored a post on the sequencing of Roseovarius nubinhibens. a bacterium that recently joined the group of about a thousand bacteria whose genomes have been sequenced. Researcher José González and colleagues in Mary Ann Moran's lab at the University of Georgia, Department of Marine Science, who sequenced Roseovarius nubinhibens discovered that the bacterium's DNA chromosomes is host to several prophages and various virus like particles (elements that look like a virus but haven't been shown to infect like a virus.) The researchers suspect that since other sequenced members of the Rhodobacterales harbor related prophages this type of prophage is common and may be active in horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among these bacteria. Click "source" to read more about this interesting research and the questions raised over gene transfer agents and prophages.

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