Unusual codon bias in vinyl chloride reductase genes of Dehalococcoides species

Paul J. McMurdie, Sebastian F. Behrens, Susan Holmes, Alfred M. Spormann

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22 Scopus citations


Vinyl chloride reductases (VC-RDase) are the key enzymes for complete microbial reductive dehalogenation of chloroethenes, including the groundwater pollutants tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene. Analysis of the codon usage of the VC-RDase genes vcrA and bvcA showed that these genes are highly unusual and are characterized by a low G + C fraction at the third position. The third position of codons in VC-RDase genes is biased toward the nucleotide T, even though available Dehalococcoides genome sequences indicate the absence of any tRNAs matching codons that end in T. The comparatively high level of abnormality in the codon usage of VC-RDase genes suggests an evolutionary history that is different from that of most other Dehalococcoides genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2744-2747
Number of pages4
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2007


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