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Endosymbiosis plays an important role in the evolution of a large variety of organisms and the generation of biological diversity. The genome of endosymbionts is commonly characterized by a nucleotide bias composition towards AT as well as a reduction of gene content and genome size. Presumably, this ‘genome erosion’ leads to a reduction of costs for nucleotide biosynthesis and gene expression. However, the hypothesis lacks experimental evidence since the endosymbiont-host-relationship is obligate and difficult to disentangle. In my project, I am using plasmids and their bacterial hosts as a tractable model system to study the molecular basis of the observed genome features.
last updated on 2018-11-24