03 January 2006

TIG: Microeconomic principles explain an optimal genome size in bacteria [clip]

Thought this was interesting in relation to soc. sci. vs. genome and network organization.

Trends Genet. 2005 Jan;21(1):21-5.
Microeconomic principles explain an optimal genome size in bacteria.
Ranea JA, Grant A, Thornton JM, Orengo CA
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15680509&query_hl=4&itool=pubmed_docsum


Bacteria can clearly enhance their survival by expanding their genetic
repertoire. However, the tight packing of the bacterial genome and the fact that
the most evolved species do not necessarily have the biggest genomes suggest
there are other evolutionary factors limiting their genome expansion. To clarify
these restrictions on size, we studied those protein families contributing most
significantly to bacterial-genome complexity. We found that all bacteria apply
the same basic and ancestral 'molecular technology' to optimize their
reproductive efficiency. The same microeconomics principles that define the
optimum size in a factory can also explain the existence of a statistical
optimum in bacterial genome size. This optimum is reached when the bacterial
genome obtains the maximum metabolic complexity (revenue )
for minimal regulatory genes (logistic cost).
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