RBI Scientists Published Article in PLoS Genetics
RBI scientists Fran Supek, Nives Skunca, Jelena Repar and Dr. Tomislav Šmuc have published an extensive computational study entitled "Translational selection is ubiquitous in prokaryotes" in the prestigious journal PLoS Genetics (IF=9.5). The study describes how natural selection acts to improve speed and accuracy of protein translation, as evidenced in biased codon usage in prokaryotic genomes.
The study represents a significant step forward in terms of its breadth, computational methodology and results This work points to a universal regularity - the contents of 'silent' sites of a group of genes in all bacteria and archaea are not determined randomly, but rather are shaped by translational selection, which is a new and significant finding from many perspectives. For instance, gene expression levels can be predicted from codon usage and the expression level correlated to environmental conditions, enabling further in silico research of mechanisms of microbial adaptation.