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The Repertoire of Transfer RNA Genes Is Tuned to Codon Usage Bias in the Genomes of Phytophthora sojae and Phytophthora ramorum

December 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  12
Pages  1,322 - 1,328

Sucheta Tripathy , and Brett M. Tyler

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, U.S.A.

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Accepted 7 August 2006.

In all, 238 and 155 transfer (t)RNA genes were predicted from the genomes of Phytophthora sojae and P. ramorum, respectively. After omitting pseudogenes and undetermined types of tRNA genes, there remained 208 P. sojae tRNA genes and 140 P. ramorum tRNA genes. There were 45 types of tRNA genes, with distinct anticodons, in each species. Fourteen common anticodon types of tRNAs are missing altogether from the genome in the two species; however, these appear to be compensated by wobbling of other tRNA anticodons in a manner which is tied to the codon bias in Phytophthora genes. The most abundant tRNA class was arginine in both P. sojae and P. ramorum. A codon usage table was generated for these two organisms from a total of 9,803,525 codons in P. sojae and 7,496,598 codons in P. ramorum. The most abundant codon type detected from the codon usage tables was GAG (encoding glutamic acid), whereas the most numerous tRNA gene had a me-thionine anticodon (CAT). The correlation between the frequencies of tRNA genes and the codon frequencies in protein-coding genes was very low (0.12 in P. sojae and 0.19 in P. ramorum); however, the correlation between amino acid tRNA gene frequency and the corresponding amino acid codon frequency in P. sojae and P. ramorum was substantially higher (0.53 in P. sojae and 0.77 in P. ramorum). The codon usage frequencies of P. sojae and P. ramorum were very strongly correlated (0.99), as were tRNA gene frequencies (0.77). Approximately 60% of orthologous tRNA gene pairs in P. sojae and P. ramorum are located in regions that have conserved synteny in the two species.

Additional keywords: tRNA gene copy number .

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society