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The Combination of Random Mutagenesis and Sequencing Highlight the Role of Unexpected Genes in an Intractable Organism

Abstract : A large variety of organisms are capable of synthesizing hard matter in a process called biomineralization [1]. The transformation of a genetic blueprint into minerals such as, for example, calcium phosphate in bones and calcium carbonate in eggs or seashells provides a mechanical support for organismic growth and protection against predators, respectively. Iron oxides formed by fishes and birds provide them with magnetic properties used for magnetoreception and orientation [2], [3]. The biomineralization processes are remarkable for numerous reasons: organisms, contrary to engineers, have to form these biological materials with a limited subset of biologically available chemical elements and at physiological conditions. Still, these reduced means are not at the detriment of their function, which often surpasses man-made materials based on equivalent elements [4]. Therefore, understanding how biomineralizing organisms process chemical elements based on their genetic program is of primary interest. However, the biological mechanisms behind biomineralization have remained unclear, partly because of limited genetic knowledge: model organisms are limited to a few unicellular organisms [5], [6]. Therefore, the question has arisen of what genetic approach to use to get genetic information about the large majority of organisms that have remained intractable.
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Damien Faivre, Jens Baumgartner. The Combination of Random Mutagenesis and Sequencing Highlight the Role of Unexpected Genes in an Intractable Organism. PLoS Genetics, Public Library of Science, 2015, 11 (1), pp.e1004895. ⟨10.1371/journal.pgen.1004895⟩. ⟨hal-03298509⟩



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