Glass JI, Assad-Garcia N, Alperovich N, Yooseph S, Lewis MR, Maruf M, Hutchison CA, Smith HO, Venter JC
Essential genes of a minimal bacterium.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2006-01-10; 103.2: 425-30.
Mycoplasma genitalium has the smallest genome of any organism that can be grown in pure culture. It has a minimal metabolism and little genomic redundancy. Consequently, its genome is expected to be a close approximation to the minimal set of genes needed to sustain bacterial life. Using global transposon mutagenesis, we isolated and characterized gene disruption mutants for 100 different nonessential protein-coding genes. None of the 43 RNA-coding genes were disrupted. Herein, we identify 382 of the 482 M. genitalium protein-coding genes as essential, plus five sets of disrupted genes that encode proteins with potentially redundant essential functions, such as phosphate transport. Genes encoding proteins of unknown function constitute 28% of the essential protein-coding genes set. Disruption of some genes accelerated M. genitalium growth.