Extracellular nucleic acids of the marine bacteriumRhodovulum sulfidophilumand recombinant RNA production technology using bacteria

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Extracellular nucleic acids of high molecular weight are detected ubiquitously in seawater. Recent studies have indicated that these nucleic acids are, at least in part, derived from active production by some bacteria. The marine bacterium Rhodovulum sulfidophilum is one of those bacteria. Rhodovulumsulfidophilum is a non-sulfur phototrophic marine bacterium that is known to form structured communities of cells called flocs, and to produce extracellular nucleic acids in culture media. Recently, it has been revealed that this bacterium produces gene transfer agent-like particles and that this particle production may be related to the extracellular nucleic acid production mechanism. This review provides a summary of recent physiological and genetic studies of these phenomena and also introduces a new method for extracellular production of artificial and biologically functional RNAs using this bacterium. In addition, artificial RNA production using Escherichia coli, which is related to this topic, will also be described.

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