Bacterial Saints and Sinners

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Bacterial saints and sinners reported in Nature, vol 435, p1140, 30 June 2005. The whole article is quoted. "Many bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas are pathogens, (disease causing) including P. aeruginosa, which infects cystic fibrosis patients, and the fruit canker agent P. syringae. By contrast, the soil-dwelling P. fluorescens protects plants from pathogens and frost. To find out how the saint differs from the sinners, researchers led by Joyce Loper from the Agricultural Research Service in Oregon and Ian Paulsen of The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland, sequenced the complete P. fluorescens genome. At 7.1 million bases, it is larger than the genomes of its less benign cousins and stuffed with gene clusters for chemicals harmful to pathogens, a third of which were previously unknown. Nature Biotechnol . doi:10.1038/nbt1110 (2005)"

Editorial Comment: This means the useful bacterium has more genes than the harmful ones, i.e. it is more complex. This provides a possible clue to the origin of disease causing bacteria - some could be the result of gene loss. This is the opposite of evolution, but fits with Genesis 1-3 , which tells us the world was created "very good" but had degenerated because of human sin and God's judgement. (Ref. devolution, microbiology, ecology)

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