Structural analysis of DNA sequence: evidence for lateral gene transfer in Thermotoga maritima

Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Feb 1;28(3):706-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/28.3.706.


The recently published complete DNA sequence of the bacterium Thermotoga maritima provides evidence, based on protein sequence conservation, for lateral gene transfer between Archaea and Bacteria. We introduce a new method of periodicity analysis of DNA sequences, based on structural parameters, which brings independent evidence for the lateral gene transfer in the genome of T.maritima. The structural analysis relates the Archaea-like DNA sequences to the genome of Pyrococcus horikoshii. Analysis of 24 complete genomic DNA sequences shows different periodicity patterns for organisms of different origin. The typical genomic periodicity for Bacteria is 11 bp whilst it is 10 bp for Archaea. Eukaryotes have more complex spectra but the dominant period in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is 10.2 bp. These periodicities are most likely reflective of differences in chromatin structure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Computational Biology*
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Genome, Archaeal
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genome, Fungal
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Phylogeny
  • Pyrococcus / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Thermodynamics
  • Thermotoga maritima / genetics*


  • Chromatin
  • DNA