Query: NC_017518:577159 Neisseria meningitidis NZ-05/33 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Neisseria meningitidis; Neisseria; Neisseriaceae; Neisseriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: The second of two pathogenic Neisseria, this organism causes septicemia and is the leading cause of life-threatening meningitis (inflammation of the meninges, the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord) in children. This organism typically residies in the nasopharynx cavity but can invade the respiratory epthelial barrier, cross into the bloodstream and the blood brain barrier, and cause inflammation of the meninges. Pathogenicity factors include the surface proteins (porins and opacity proteins), and the type IV pilus (which is also found in Neisseria gonorrhoeae). This organism, like Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is naturally competent, and protein complexes at the cell surface recognize the uptake signal sequence in extracellular DNA, an 8mer that is found at high frequency in Neisseria chromosomal DNA.
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General Information: Well-studied antiobiotic-producing bacterium. These bacteria are widely distributed in nature, especially in the soil. The characteristic earthy smell of freshly plowed soil is actually attributed to the aromatic terpenoid geosmin produced by species of Streptomyces. There are currently 364 known species of this genus, many of which are the most important industrial producers of antibiotics and other secondary metabolites of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antitumor nature, as well as immunosuppressants, antihypercholesterolemics, etc. Streptomycetes are crucial in the soil environment because their diverse metabolism allows them to degrade the insoluble remains of other organisms, including recalcitrant compounds such as lignocelluloses and chitin. Streptomycetes produce both substrate and aerial mycelium. The latter shows characteristic modes of branching, and in the course of the streptomycete complex life cycle, these hyphae are partly transformed into chains of spores, which are often called conidia or arthrospores. An important feature in Streptomyces is the presence of type-I peptidoglycan in the cell walls that contains characteristic interpeptide glycine bridges. Another remarkable trait of streptomycetes is that they contain very large (~8 million base pairs which is about twice the size of most bacterial genomes) linear chromosomes with distinct telomeres. These rearrangements consist of the deletion of several hundred kilobases, often associated with the amplification of an adjacent sequence, and lead to metabolic diversity within the Streptomyces group. Sequencing of several strains of Streptomyces is aimed partly on understanding the mechanisms involved in these diversification processes. This bacterium is a soil-dwelling filamentous organism responsible for producing more than half of the known natural antibiotics. It is a well-studied species of Streptomyces and genetically is the best known representative.