Analysis of the Cellular Functions of Escherichia coli Operons and Their Conservation in Bacillus subtilis
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The common assumption of operons as composed of genes that cooperate in a biological process is confirmed here by showing that Escherichia coli operons tend to be composed of genes that belong to the same general class of cellular function. Furthermore, the comparison between the genomic organization of E. coli and that of Bacillus subtilis shows that the genes that are homologous to genes that belong to experimentally characterized E. coli operons tend to cluster in neighboring regions of the genome. This tendency is greater for the subset of E. coli operons whose genes belong to a single functional class. These observations indicate strong evolutionary pressure that, translated into functional constraints, leads to the inclusion of many essential functions in conserved operons and clusters in these two distant species.
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