Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Biocomputational prediction of small non-coding RNAs in Streptomyces

Josef Pánek*, Jan Bobek, Karel Mikulík, Marek Basler and Jiří Vohradský

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Bioinformatics, Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:217  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-217

Published: 13 May 2008



The first systematic study of small non-coding RNAs (sRNA, ncRNA) in Streptomyces is presented. Except for a few exceptions, the Streptomyces sRNAs, as well as the sRNAs in other genera of the Actinomyces group, have remained unstudied. This study was based on sequence conservation in intergenic regions of Streptomyces, localization of transcription termination factors, and genomic arrangement of genes flanking the predicted sRNAs.


Thirty-two potential sRNAs in Streptomyces were predicted. Of these, expression of 20 was detected by microarrays and RT-PCR. The prediction was validated by a structure based computational approach. Two predicted sRNAs were found to be terminated by transcription termination factors different from the Rho-independent terminators. One predicted sRNA was identified computationally with high probability as a Streptomyces 6S RNA. Out of the 32 predicted sRNAs, 24 were found to be structurally dissimilar from known sRNAs.


Streptomyces is the largest genus of Actinomyces, whose sRNAs have not been studied. The Actinomyces is a group of bacterial species with unique genomes and phenotypes. Therefore, in Actinomyces, new unique bacterial sRNAs may be identified. The sequence and structural dissimilarity of the predicted Streptomyces sRNAs demonstrated by this study serve as the first evidence of the uniqueness of Actinomyces sRNAs.