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Codon usage bias and tRNA over-expression in Buchnera aphidicola after aromatic amino acid nutritional stress on its host Acyrthosiphon pisum

Abstract : Codon usage bias and relative abundances of tRNA isoacceptors were analysed in the obligate intracellular symbiotic bacterium, Buchnera aphidicola from the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, using a dedicated 35mer oligonucleotide microarray. Buchnera is archetypal of organisms living with minimal metabolic requirements and presents a reduced genome with high-evolutionary rate. Codonusage in Buchnera has been overcome by the high mutational bias towards AT bases. However, several lines of evidence for codon usage selection are given here. A significant correlation was found between tRNA relative abundances and codon composition of Buchnera genes. A significant codon usage bias was found for the choice of rare codons in Buchnera: C-ending codons are preferred in highly expressed genes, whereas G-ending codons are avoided. This bias is not explained by GC skew in the bacteria and might correspond to a selection for perfect matching between codon–anticodon pairs for some essential amino acids in Buchnera proteins. Nutritional stress applied to the aphid host induced a significant overexpression of most of the tRNA isoacceptors in bacteria. Although, molecular regulation of the tRNA operons in Buchnera was not investigated, a correlation between relative expression levels and organization in transcription unit was found in the genome of Buchnera.
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H. Charles, F. Calevro, J. Vinuelas, J.M. Fayard, Y. Rahbé. Codon usage bias and tRNA over-expression in Buchnera aphidicola after aromatic amino acid nutritional stress on its host Acyrthosiphon pisum. Nucleic Acids Research, Oxford University Press, 2006, 34 (16), pp.4583-4592. ⟨10.1093/nar/gkl597⟩. ⟨hal-00391277⟩

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