The nucleotide sequence of the entire genome of a filamentous cyanobacterium, Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, was determined. The genome of Anabaena consisted of a single chromosome (6,413,771 bp) and six plasmids, designated pCC7120α (408,101 bp), pCC7120β (186,614 bp), pCC7120γ (101,965 bp), pCC7120δ (55,414 bp), pCC7120ϵ (40,340 bp), and pCC7120ζ (5,584 bp). The chromosome bears 5368 potential protein-encoding genes, four sets of rRNA genes, 48 tRNA genes representing 42 tRNA species, and 4 genes for small structural RNAs. The predicted products of 45% of the potential protein-encoding genes showed sequence similarity to known and predicted proteins of known function, and 27% to translated products of hypothetical genes. The remaining 28% lacked significant similarity to genes for known and predicted proteins in the public DNA databases. More than 60 genes involved in various processes of heterocyst formation and nitrogen fixation were assigned to the chromosome based on their similarity to the reported genes. One hundred and ninety-five genes coding for components of two-component signal transduction systems, nearly 2.5 times as many as those in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, were identified on the chromosome. Only 37% of the Anabaena genes showed significant sequence similarity to those of Synechocystis, indicating a high degree of divergence of the gene information between the two cyanobacterial strains.

Author notes

† Current address: Life Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, MS-6480, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA