From Sequences to Enzymes: Comparative Genomics to Study Evolutionarily Conserved Protein Functions in Marine Microbes

Methods Mol Biol. 2022:2498:77-88. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2313-8_5.


Comparative genomics is a research field that allows comparison between genomes of different life forms providing information on the organization of the compared genomes, both in terms of structure and encoded functions. Moreover, this approach provides a powerful tool to study and understand the evolutionary changes and adaptation among organisms. Comparative genomics can be used to compare phylogenetically close marine organisms showing different vital strategies and lifestyles and obtain information regarding specific adaptations and/or their evolutionary history. Here we report a basic comparative genomics protocol to extrapolate evolutionary information about a protein of interest conserved across diverse marine microbes. The outlined approach can be used in a number of different settings and might help to gain new insights into the evolution and adaptation of marine microorganisms.

Keywords: Adaptation; Ancestral protein; Comparative genomics; Evolution of function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Aquatic Organisms / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome
  • Genomics*
  • Phylogeny