Archaea Banner

Archaea, 1:335–346
© 2005 Heron Publishing—Victoria, Canada
[ PDF ] [ Return to Contents ]

Identification of replication origins in archaeal genomes based on the Z-curve method

Ren Zhang (1) and Chun-Ting Zhang (2,3)

1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tianjin Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin 300060, China / 2. Department of Physics, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China / 3. Corresponding author ([email protected]) / Received July 15, 2004; accepted August 31, 2004; published online November 9, 2004


The Z-curve is a three-dimensional curve that constitutes a unique representation of a DNA sequence, i.e., both the Z-curve and the given DNA sequence can be uniquely reconstructed from the other. We employed Z-curve analysis to identify one replication origin in the Methanocaldococcus jannaschii genome, two replication origins in the Halobacterium species NRC-1 genome and one replication origin in the Methanosarcina mazei genome. One of the predicted replication origins of Halobacterium species NRC-1 is the same as a replication origin later identified by in vivo experiments. The Z-curve analysis of the Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 genome suggested the existence of three replication origins, which is also consistent with later experimental results. This review aims to summarize applications of the Z-curve in identifying replication origins of archaeal genomes, and to provide clues about the locations of as yet unidentified replication origins of the Aeropyrum pernix K1, Methanococcus maripaludis S2, Picrophilus torridus DSM 9790 and Pyrobaculum aerophilum str. IM2 genomes.

Keywords: Halobacterium, Methanocaldococcus jannaschii, Methanosarcina mazei.

 ISSN 1472-3654 (Online) ISSN 1472-3646 (Print) Copyright © 2002–2005 Heron Publishing