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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Genome Informatics (GIW2010)

Open Access Open Badges Research

Large number of phosphotransferase genes in the Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 genome and the study on their evolution

Yixiang Shi12, Yi-Xue Li12 and Yuan-Yuan Li12*

Author Affiliations

1 Bioinformatics Center, Key Laboratory of Systems Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, P.R. China

2 Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology, Shanghai 200235, P.R. China

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BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11(Suppl 11):S9  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-S11-S9

Published: 14 December 2010



Clostridium beijerinckii is a valuable bacteria species which has the ability of ABE (acetone, butanol and ethanol) production. It has been shown that Phosphotransferase (PTS) is an important and common system for both carbohydrate uptake and phosphorylation in bacteria, but detailed study of the system, especially its fructose/mannose/sorbose family is scant.


In the genome of Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052, a model strain recently sequenced, there are large number of PTS genes, among them 9 complete sets belong to the fructose/mannose/sorbose family of its enzyme II complex. Our study, based on evidences provided by phylogenetic relationship, analyses of gene contents and clusters, as well as synteny examination, indicates that it is possible to further classify this PTS family into three sub-groups, which are corresponding to the three sugar substrates. Furthermore, we proposed a model how these PTS systems are evolved in bacteria.


This work may explain the experimental result that Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 can better utilize fructose as substrate, thus could lead to a better understanding of the ABE-producing mechanism in Clostridium beijerinckii and other microbial species. It may help to illustrate a higher butanol-productivity future.