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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Decipher Genome of Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium

June 26, 2009

An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) and Virginia Tech, has completed the genome of Azotobacter vinelandii, an important soil-living and nitrogen-fixing bacterium. The genome sequence is expected to advance research on A. vinelandii's role as a model organism in the investigation of nitrogen fixation and other biochemical processes. The researchers said that the work will also pave the way for new applications in biotechnology, including the possible use of A. vinelandii as a "bio-factory" for the production of other proteins, in particular those that may be damaged by the presence of oxygen. The genome will also provide information about the unique biosynthetic pathways involved in the bacteria's ability to adapt its metabolism to diverse sources of nutrients.

The complete article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.00504-09