Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2008-08


Complete genome sequence of the complex carbohydrate-degrading marine bacterium, Saccharophagus degradans strain 2-40(T).




Weiner, RM; Taylor, LE; Henrissat, B; Hauser, L; Land, M; Coutinho, PM; Rancurel, C; Saunders, EH; Longmire, AG; Zhang, HT; Bayer, EA; Gilbert, HJ; Larimer, F; Zhulin, IB; Ekborg, NA; Lamed, R; Richardson, PM; Borovok, I; Hutcheson, S


PLOS Genetics 4(5):1-13



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The marine bacterium Saccharophagus degradans strain 2-40 (Sde 2-40) is emerging as a vanguard of a recently discovered group of marine and estuarine bacteria that recycles complex polysaccharides. We report its complete genome sequence, analysis of which identifies an unusually large number of enzymes that degrade >10 complex polysaccharides. Not only is this an extraordinary range of catabolic capability, many of the enzymes exhibit unusual architecture including novel combinations of catalytic and substrate-binding modules. We hypothesize that many of these features are adaptations that facilitate depolymerization of complex polysaccharides in the marine environment. This is the first sequenced genome of a marine bacterium that can degrade plant cell walls, an important component of the carbon cycle that is not well-characterized in the marine environment.

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