Genomic structure of an economically important cyanobacterium, Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis NIES-39

DNA Res. 2010 Apr;17(2):85-103. doi: 10.1093/dnares/dsq004. Epub 2010 Mar 4.


A filamentous non-N(2)-fixing cyanobacterium, Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis, is an important organism for industrial applications and as a food supply. Almost the complete genome of A. platensis NIES-39 was determined in this study. The genome structure of A. platensis is estimated to be a single, circular chromosome of 6.8 Mb, based on optical mapping. Annotation of this 6.7 Mb sequence yielded 6630 protein-coding genes as well as two sets of rRNA genes and 40 tRNA genes. Of the protein-coding genes, 78% are similar to those of other organisms; the remaining 22% are currently unknown. A total 612 kb of the genome comprise group II introns, insertion sequences and some repetitive elements. Group I introns are located in a protein-coding region. Abundant restriction-modification systems were determined. Unique features in the gene composition were noted, particularly in a large number of genes for adenylate cyclase and haemolysin-like Ca(2+)-binding proteins and in chemotaxis proteins. Filament-specific genes were highlighted by comparative genomic analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • Spirulina / genetics*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Transfer