Protein elemental sparing and codon usage bias are correlated among bacteria

Jason G. Bragg, Antonietta Quigg, John A. Raven, Andreas Wagner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Highly expressed proteins can exhibit relatively small material costs, in terms of the quantities of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) or sulphur (S) atoms they contain. This elemental sparing probably reflects selection to reduce the quantities of potentially growth-limiting elements in abundant proteins, but the evolutionary mechanisms for adaptive elemental sparing are still poorly understood. Here, we predict that the extent of elemental sparing in highly expressed proteins will vary among organisms, according to the effectiveness of selection in determining the fate of mutations. We test this hypothesis in bacteria by asking whether elemental sparing is correlated with codon usage bias. Bacteria exhibit extraordinary variation in their life histories and demography and consequently in the effectiveness of selection in determining whether preferred codons are used in highly expressed genes. We find that C sparing and S sparing, but not N sparing, are significantly correlated with adaptive codon usage bias among 148 genera of bacteria, suggesting that selection for elemental sparing and codon bias are promoted by similar bacterial traits. Our study helps identify principles that determine how nutrient scarcity can shape the elemental composition of proteins.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2480-2487
    Number of pages8
    JournalMolecular Ecology
    Volume21
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2012

    Cite this

    Bragg, Jason G. ; Quigg, Antonietta ; Raven, John A. ; Wagner, Andreas. / Protein elemental sparing and codon usage bias are correlated among bacteria. In: Molecular Ecology. 2012 ; Vol. 21, No. 10. pp. 2480-2487.
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    Protein elemental sparing and codon usage bias are correlated among bacteria. / Bragg, Jason G.; Quigg, Antonietta; Raven, John A.; Wagner, Andreas.

    In: Molecular Ecology, Vol. 21, No. 10, 05.2012, p. 2480-2487.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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