Replicational and transcriptional selection on codon usage in Borrelia burgdorferi

James Mcinerney, J O McInerney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    With more than 10 fully sequenced, publicly available prokaryotic genomes, it is now becoming possible to gain useful insights into genome evolution. Before the genome era, many evolutionary processes were evaluated from limited data sets and evolutionary models were constructed on the basis of small amounts of evidence. In this paper, I show that genes on the Borrelia burgdorferi genome have two separate, distinct, and significantly different codon usages, depending on whether the gene is transcribed on the leading or lagging strand of replication. Asymmetrical replication is the major source of codon usage variation. Replicational selection is responsible for the higher number of genes on the leading strands, and transcriptional selection appears to be responsible for the enrichment of highly expressed genes on these strands. Replicational-transcriptional selection, therefore, has an influence on the codon usage of a gene. This is a new paradigm of codon selection in prokaryotes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10698-703
    Number of pages9994
    JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    • Borrelia burgdorferi Group/*genetics
    • *Codon
    • *DNA Replication
    • Genome, Bacterial
    • *Transcription, Genetic


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