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Le génome des alpha-protéobactéries : complexité, réduction, diversité et fluidité

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The alpha-proteobacteria displayed diverse and often unconventional life-styles. In particular, they keep close relationships with the eucaryotic cell. Their genomic organization is often atypical. Indeed, complex genomes, with two or more chromosomes that could be linear and sometimes associated with plasmids larger than one megabase, have been described. Moreover, polymorphism in genome size and topology as well as in replicon number was observed among very related bacteria, even in a same species. Alpha-proteobacteria provide a good model to study the reductive evolution, the role and origin of multiple chromosomes, and the genomic fluidity. The amount of new data harvested in the last decade should lead us to better understand emergence of bacterial life-styles and to build the conceptual basis to improve the definition of the bacterial species.Key words: alpha-proteobacteria, genome, dynamics, diversity.

Les alpha-protéobactéries ont des modes de vie variés et originaux. Elles sont, en particulier, capables d'établir des relations étroites avec la cellule eucaryote. Leurs structures génomiques sont souvent atypiques avec des chromosomes multiples, parfois linéaires pouvant être associés à de grands plasmides de plus d'une mégabase. De plus, un fort polymorphisme de taille, de topologie et de nombre de réplicons est souvent observé au sein d'une même espèce ou entre bactéries phylogénétiquement très proches. Ainsi, les alpha-protéobactéries représentent un modèle particulièrement pertinent pour étudier le phénomène de réduction génomique, l'origine et le rôle biologique des chromosomes multiples, ainsi que la dynamique et la fluidité génomique. La somme des données acquises ces dernières années sur le génome des alpha-protéobactéries améliore la compréhension de l'émergence des modes de vie bactériens et enrichit les concepts à la base de la définition de l'espèce bactérienne.Mots clés : alpha-protéobactéries, génome, dynamique, diversité.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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