NC_000958:73685 Deinococcus radiodurans R1 plasmid MP1, complete sequence
Host Lineage: Deinococcus radiodurans; Deinococcus; Deinococcaceae; Deinococcales; Deinococcus-Thermus; Bacteria
General Information: This red-pigmented organism's name means "strange berry that withstands radiation", marking the fact that this organism is one of the most radiation-resistant known. It can tolerate radiation levels at 1000 times the levels that would kill a human and it was originally isolated in 1956 from a can of meat that had been irradiated with X-rays. The resistance to radiation may reflect its resistance to dessication, which also causes DNA damage. This organism may be of use in cleaning up toxic metals found at nuclear weapons production sites due to the radiation resistance. This bacterium is also a highly efficient transformer, and can readily take up exogenous DNA from the environment, which may also aid DNA repair. This organism carries multiple copies of many DNA repair genes, suggesting a robust system for dealing with DNA damage. The recombination system may rely on multiple copies of various repeat elements found throughout the genome.