U.S. – German Research Consortium Sequences Genome of Versatile Soil Microbe, Pseudomonas putida


In a transatlantic collaboration, scientists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Maryland, and at four research centers in Germany have completed the sequence and initial analysis of a bacterium, Pseudomonas putida, with potential for remediation of organic pollutants in soil, promoting plant growth, and fighting plant disease. The December 2002 issue of Environmental Microbiology is devoted to this and related microbes. The P. putida project was supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and from the German research ministry, the BMBF and is the microbial 24th genome to be sequenced by the DOE Microbial Genome Program. Knowing the complete DNA sequence of this microbe will aid in the development of new ways to use this and related microbes to clean up organic pollutants. In 1982, P. putida was designated by a National Institutes of Health advisory panel as the first “biosafety” host strain for gene cloning in soil bacteria. Comparisons of the genomes of P. putida and another member of the Pseudomonas genus, P. aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen that is the leading cause of death for cystic fibrosis patients, has also provided new insights that will enable us to better identify the features in the P. aeruginosa genome that contribute to making it a pathogen.