A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Rickettsia prowazekii
Higher order taxa
Bacteria; Proteobacteria; Alphaproteobacteria; Rickettsiales; Rickettsiaceae
Description and significance
Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why it is important enough to have its genome sequenced. Describe how and where it was isolated. Include a picture or two (with sources) if you can find them.
Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence? Does it have any plasmids? Are they important to the organism's lifestyle?
The R. prowazekii genome is circular, containing 1,111,523 base pairs and 834 protein coding genes. Also, 24% of R. prowazekii DNA is non-coding- the largest amount in any microbial genome. No genes code for anaerobic glycolosis, however, complete coding sequences for the tricarboxylicacid (TCA) cycle and respiratory-chain complex are found indicating R. prowazekii is the closest microbial ancestor to mitochrondia.
Cell structure and metabolism
Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.
R. prowazekii is a Gram-, intracellular bacteria with a bacilli structure.
Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.
How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.
Application to Biotechnology
Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?
Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required
S.G. Andersson, A. Zomorodipour, J.O. Andersson, T. Sicheritz-Ponten, U.C. Alsmark, R.M. Podowski, A.K. Naslund, A.S. Eriksson, H.H. Winkler and C.G. Kurland, The genome sequence of Rickettsia prowazekii and the origin of mitochondria, Nature396 (1998), pp. 133–140.
Edited by Matthew Noble, student of Rachel Larsen