Thirteen years of the first complete genome sequenced in Spain


In January 2003, the study that collects the first complete genome sequenced entirely in Spain was published in the journal PNAS. It was the genome of a bacterium, Buchnera aphidicola, and it was in the Astrobiology Center, in collaboration with the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology and Genetics Department of the University of Valencia, as well as with other Spanish centers, where it took place this scientific feat.

This first sequenced organism consists of 618,000 base pairs - a genome seven times smaller than that of the bacterium Escherichia coli -, and being a bacterium that lives in symbiosis inside a species of aphid, the study of Buchnera aphidicola has been determinant for several reasons. Among them, because it allowed to identify the minimum genomic set that requires a system to live.

From the CAB, in addition to the principal investigators, < b> Roeland CHJ van Ham and Judith Kamerbeek , participated in the study Marina Postigo , which is still working in the Center's laboratories. Having been part of the project, which was incorporated once launched, meant for her to live a very rewarding experience, as it had a very good reception from their bosses, of which highlights the "perfectionist and methodical" that were . "They taught me very well all the work techniques I had to apply and to handle two high performance equipment, a fluid handling robot and a sequencer," says Postigo.

His tasks for the study on Buchnera aphidicola consisted in the extraction of genomic DNA, realization of agarose gels to check DNA, PCRs, cell cultures, cloning, extraction of plasmid DNA with the robot and sequencing of all the samples with the then sequencer - a 377 Abi polyacrylamide gel. And, after 13 years of advances in this field, the CAB has been renewing its equipment. Now Marina Postigo is responsible for the instruments of the Sequencing and Genomics Laboratory , already counting with other more advanced equipment; she is in charge of carrying out the DNA extractions and sequences of the rest of the CAB laboratories that require these tasks.

Having sequenced the first The complete genome of an organism in Spain, has been, according to the CAB scientist, "a push for many other researchers to follow the line of sequencing complete genomes. From our project, several are those that have been sequenced in their entirety. " With this study, which is entitled " Reductive genome evolution in Buchnera aphidicola ", the CAB has marked a milestone in the history of Biology (and Astrobiology) in Spain worthy of being remembered.


Fuente: Cristina Delgado UCC-CAB


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