Genome Sequenced Early

Sequencing of the E. coli K-12 strain genome (a popular model strain) was completed in 1997; subsequently, at least two collections of the pathogenic 0157:H7 strain have been completely sequenced. The bacterium has a genome of approximately 4.3 million base pairs of DNA, and carries about 4,400 genes. Interestingly, only about 50 percent of the predicted genes have been described and characterized, a surprisingly low percentage for such a well-understood organism. For this and other reasons, E. coli remains one of the most significant model organisms used today. see also Chromosome, Prokaryotic; Eubacteria; Genome; Human Genome Project; Model Organisms; Plasmid.

Daniel J. Tomso


Madigan, Michael T., John M. Martinko, and Jack Parker. Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.


The Eubacteria, also called just "bacteria," are one of the three main domains of life, along with the Archaea and the Eukarya. Eubacteria are prokaryotic, meaning their cells do not have defined, membrane-limited nuclei. As a group they display an impressive range of biochemical diversity, and their numerous members are found in every habitat on Earth. Eubacteria are responsible for many human diseases, but also help maintain health and form vital parts of all of Earth's ecosystems.

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