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Archaea
Volume 2010, Article ID 960298, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/960298
Review Article

Fidelity in Archaeal Information Processing

Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 10, 6703 HB Wageningen, The Netherlands

Received 15 May 2010; Accepted 12 July 2010

Academic Editor: J. Soppa

Copyright © 2010 Bart de Koning et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A key element during the flow of genetic information in living systems is fidelity. The accuracy of DNA replication influences the genome size as well as the rate of genome evolution. The large amount of energy invested in gene expression implies that fidelity plays a major role in fitness. On the other hand, an increase in fidelity generally coincides with a decrease in velocity. Hence, an important determinant of the evolution of life has been the establishment of a delicate balance between fidelity and variability. This paper reviews the current knowledge on quality control in archaeal information processing. While the majority of these processes are homologous in Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryotes, examples are provided of nonorthologous factors and processes operating in the archaeal domain. In some instances, evidence for the existence of certain fidelity mechanisms has been provided, but the factors involved still remain to be identified.