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Strong associations between gene function and codon usage

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Fuglsang A. Strong associations between gene function and codon usage. APMIS 2003;111:843–7.

The association between codon usage and gene function was analyzed in the complete genomes of Eschericia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Lactococcus lactis and Campylobacter jejuni, using the functional annotation provided by NCBI. Two distinctly different ways of quantifying codon usage were used in the analysis. By using contingency tables it was found that for most amino acids a highly significant association with gene function exists for all species, indicating that codon usage at the level of individual amino acids is generally closely coordinated with gene function. By computing the effective number of codons in the annotated genes and comparing the median values in groups of different gene functions it was shown for all species that codon bias gene by gene also differs.

Keywords: Gene function; codon usage; contingency tables; effective number of codons

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2003


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