29 April 2006


SAR 11 is one of the most ubiquitous organisms on earth.
With it's 1.3 Mb genome, that was only recently sequenced and annotated, it is a smallest known bacteria (1/100th of the size of the average bacteria) and it thrives in the oligotrophic ocean. It's abundance is mind-boggling: 200,000 to 300,000 cells per milliliter! It is an aerobic heterotroph and only recently sucessfuly cultured in a lab. The comparative genomics is of particular interest, since it's genome can shed some additional light on the identity of the obligatory genes for survival in oligotrophic conditions, or if you like it, which of the genes were shed in the evolutionary reductive process.

This intriguing prokaryote is being researched at Stephen Giovannoni's lab in the Department of Microbiology at Oregon State University, where they had the honour of giving it its official proposed name: (Candidatus) Pelagibacter ubique.

I am presently writing a paper on the subject of "Adaptation of microorganisms to oligotrophic environment", so hopefully i will be able to write a comprehensive update on this topic soon.

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