Microbial biochemistry, physiology, and biotechnology of hyperthermophilic Thermotoga species


  • Editor: Michael Dyall-Smith

Correspondence: Robert M. Kelly, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, EB-1, 911 Partners Way, Raleigh, NC 27695-7905, USA. Tel.: 919 515 6396; fax: +919 515 3465; e-mail: rmkelly@eos.ncsu.edu


High-throughput sequencing of microbial genomes has allowed the application of functional genomics methods to species lacking well-developed genetic systems. For the model hyperthermophile Thermotoga maritima, microarrays have been used in comparative genomic hybridization studies to investigate diversity among Thermotoga species. Transcriptional data have assisted in prediction of pathways for carbohydrate utilization, iron–sulfur cluster synthesis and repair, expolysaccharide formation, and quorum sensing. Structural genomics efforts aimed at the T. maritima proteome have yielded hundreds of high-resolution datasets and predicted functions for uncharacterized proteins. The information gained from genomics studies will be particularly useful for developing new biotechnology applications for T. maritima enzymes.