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The genome of Campylobacter jejuni: Codon and amino acid usage


Anders Fuglsang, Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Institute of Pharmacology, Universitetsparken 2, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. e-mail:


The genes from the genome of the AT-rich bacterium Campylobacter jejuni were analysed and characterised with respect to usage and amino acid usage. Codon usage is generally biased for all amino acids having synonymous codons, so that AT-rich synonyms are most frequently used. Markov chain analysis showed that codon bias and over- or underrepresentation of the corresponding tri-letter words are not related. Predicted secondary structure, lipophilicity, codon position within the gene, strand, and position on the (+)-strand were all shown to be determinants of codon usage, and these effects were in part directly explained by compositional phenomena. Codon context and the GC-content at the wobble position of the fourfold degenerate sites exert indirect effects on codon usage. The factors that affect codon usage seem to affect all amino acids, rather than selected amino acids. The usage of amino acids correlates well with the GC-content of genes, i.e. usage of amino acids encoded by GC-rich codons increases with GC-content and vice versa.