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Human Genome News, September 1994; 6(3):7

OHER Launches Microbial Genome Initiative

In a spin-off from the Human Genome Project, the DOE Office of Health and Environmental Research (OHER) is launching the Microbial Genome Initiative (MGI) to provide genome sequence and mapping data on selected microorganisms. MGI will focus on industrially important microbes and whose that live under extreme conditions, including the deep subsurface, geothermal environments, and toxic waste sites. OHER expects that information gained through this project will further the understanding of microbial phylogeny, physiology, and structural biology and help to exploit such industrial opportunities as the cleanup of process and environmental waste.

In MGI's first year, investigative groups will sequence the following organisms:

  • Pyrococcus furiosus, a marine hyperthermophile (optimum growth temperature 100 degrees C) with an A+T-rich genome of about 2 Mb [Robert Weiss (University of Utah)].
  • Methanococcus jannaschii, an extreme thermophile and marine barophilic methanogen with a 2-Mb A+T-rich genome [Craig Venter (The Institute for Genomic Research) and Carl Woese (University of Illinois)].
  • Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, a sewage sludge archaeon that grows optimally at 65 degree C and has a genome of about 1.7 Mb and a G+C content of 50%. Much of the bioconversion biochemistry of CO subscript 2 to CH subscript 4 is based on this archaeon [Doug Smith (Genome Therapeutics Corp.) and John Reeve (Ohio State University)].

HGMIS staff

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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v6n3).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

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