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Deciphering the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from the complete genome sequence.


Countless millions of people have died from tuberculosis, a chronic infectious disease caused by the tubercle bacillus. The complete genome sequence of the best-characterized strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, H37Rv, has been determined and analysed in order to improve our understanding of the biology of this slow-growing pathogen and to help the conception of new prophylactic and therapeutic interventions. The genome comprises 4,411,529 base pairs, contains around 4,000 genes, and has a very high guanine + cytosine content that is reflected in the biased amino-acid content of the proteins. M. tuberculosis differs radically from other bacteria in that a very large portion of its coding capacity is devoted to the production of enzymes involved in lipogenesis and lipolysis, and to two new families of glycine-rich proteins with a repetitive structure that may represent a source of antigenic variation.

Pubmed ID: 9634230


  • Cole ST
  • Brosch R
  • Parkhill J
  • Garnier T
  • Churcher C
  • Harris D
  • Gordon SV
  • Eiglmeier K
  • Gas S
  • Barry CE
  • Tekaia F
  • Badcock K
  • Basham D
  • Brown D
  • Chillingworth T
  • Connor R
  • Davies R
  • Devlin K
  • Feltwell T
  • Gentles S
  • Hamlin N
  • Holroyd S
  • Hornsby T
  • Jagels K
  • Krogh A
  • McLean J
  • Moule S
  • Murphy L
  • Oliver K
  • Osborne J
  • Quail MA
  • Rajandream MA
  • Rogers J
  • Rutter S
  • Seeger K
  • Skelton J
  • Squares R
  • Squares S
  • Sulston JE
  • Taylor K
  • Whitehead S
  • Barrell BG



Publication Data

June 11, 1998

Associated Grants

  • Agency: Intramural NIH HHS, Id: Z01 AI000783-11
  • Agency: Wellcome Trust, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tuberculosis