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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 504905, 9 pages
Research Article

Coevolution of aah: A dps-Like Gene with the Host Bacterium Revealed by Comparative Genomic Analysis

1Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, 07745 Jena, Germany
2Genome Analysis, Leibniz Institute for Age Research-Fritz Lipmann Institute, Beutenbergstraße 11, 07745 Jena, Germany

Received 11 October 2011; Accepted 14 November 2011

Academic Editors: G. Feron and A. P. Hudson

Copyright © 2012 Liyan Ping 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.


A protein named AAH was isolated from the bacterium Microbacterium arborescens SE14, a gut commensal of the lepidopteran larvae. It showed not only a high sequence similarity to Dps-like proteins (DNA-binding proteins from starved cell) but also reversible hydrolase activity. A comparative genomic analysis was performed to gain more insights into its evolution. The GC profile of the aah gene indicated that it was evolved from a low GC ancestor. Its stop codon usage was also different from the general pattern of Actinobacterial genomes. The phylogeny of dps-like proteins showed strong correlation with the phylogeny of host bacteria. A conserved genomic synteny was identified in some taxonomically related Actinobacteria, suggesting that the ancestor genes had incorporated into the genome before the divergence of Micrococcineae from other families. The aah gene had evolved new function but still retained the typical dodecameric structure.