Codon usage in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

S G E Andersson, P M Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The usage of alternative synonymous codons in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (and M. bovis) genes has been investigated. This species is a member of the high-Ci + C Gram-positive bacteria, with a genomic G + C content around 65 mol%, This G + C-richness is reflected in a strong bias towards C- and G-ending codons for every amino acid: overall, the G + C content at the third positions of codons is 83 %. However, there is significant variation in codon usage patterns among genes, which appears to be associated with gene expression level. From the variation among genes, putative optimal codons were identified for 15 amino acids. The degree of bias towards optimal codons in an M. tuberculosis gene is correlated with that in homologues from Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, The set of selectively favoured codons seems to be quite highly conserved between M. tuberculosis and another high-G + C Gram-positive bacterium, Corynebacterium glutamicum, even though the genome and overall codon usage of the latter are much less G + C-rich.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-925
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobiology
Volume142
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996

Cite this