Institute maps out genetic sequencing of local microorganism

Korean scientists have succeeded in mapping out the genes of a native microorganism found near the shore of Dokdo, a rocky island situated at the end of the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology announced Monday (Mar. 3) that it had succeeded in fully sequencing Donghaeana dokdonensis, a new kind of microorganism discovered in Korean waters back in 2004. The discovery at the time was covered by the International Journal of Systemic Evolutionary Microbiology, one of the most prestigious journals in the world of microbial taxonomy.

With the newly collected information, D. dokdonensis is expected to be used as a valuable source for comparison study of other genetic materials as well as unearthing physiologically active substances and useful proteins.

The research was headed jointly by the Institute and Korea University of Science and Technology. The results will be officially announced at the upcoming Genomes 2008 conference hosted in Paris by the Pasteur Institute (April 8-11).

We have secured a blueprint of our native biological resources and that alone is meaningful, one official at the institute said. We believe the microbes can be used for various purposes beneficial to humans in the future.

Meanwhile D. dokdonensis is also scheduled to take off into outer space this April together with another Leuconostoc cireum, microorganism found in fermented kimchi, whose genes have already been sequenced. Ko San, Koreas first astronomer-to-be, will be sent to the international space station to analyze the biological changes and possible evolution within the microbes DNA during the trip.

Other microbes of uniquely Korean origin include Dokdonella koreensis, Dokdonia donghaensis, Virgibacillus dokdonensis, Maribacter dokdonensis, and Marinomonas dokdonensis, found in Dokdo for the first time by Dr. Yun Jeong-hun and registered internationally.

Each name comes from the names for Korean geographical features. Dokdo is the easternmost island of the Korean Peninsula and Donghae, meaning East Sea in Korean is a waterway that divides Korea and Japan.

Korea.net | Original News @ HERE
Date : Mar. 04. 2008

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