Review

Selectional versus mutational mechanism underlying genomic features of bacterial strand asymmetry: a case study in Clostridium acetobutylicum

Published: March 20, 2015
Genet.Mol.Res. 14 (1) : 1911-1925 DOI: 10.4238/2015.March.20.1

Abstract

Strand biases are widespread in bacterial genomes. In this review, we discuss 5 types of bias, including gene orientation, the number of open reading frames, nucleotide composition, substitution rate, and gene length, between leading and lagging strands during replication. For each type of strand bias, related studies were summarized and Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 was used as a representative example to illustrate bias. Our results in C. acetobutylicum indicate that there is little asymmetry between 2 replication strands on open reading frame number and gene length, whereas the other 3 features presented significant strand bias. The underlying mechanisms of mutation and/or selection are discussed. It is hoped that this review will improve the understanding of the extent and reasons for various types of strand bias in bacterial genomes.

Strand biases are widespread in bacterial genomes. In this review, we discuss 5 types of bias, including gene orientation, the number of open reading frames, nucleotide composition, substitution rate, and gene length, between leading and lagging strands during replication. For each type of strand bias, related studies were summarized and Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 was used as a representative example to illustrate bias. Our results in C. acetobutylicum indicate that there is little asymmetry between 2 replication strands on open reading frame number and gene length, whereas the other 3 features presented significant strand bias. The underlying mechanisms of mutation and/or selection are discussed. It is hoped that this review will improve the understanding of the extent and reasons for various types of strand bias in bacterial genomes.

About the Authors