Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Guest Blog: Rich Roberts Urges Scientists to ‘Think Methylation’ in Microbial Sequencing

Richard Roberts, Nobel Laureate and Chief Scientific Officer of New England Biolabs, offers his thoughts on the utility of methylation data for understanding prokaryotes. In his words: “Please run SMRT Analysis to detect methylation in your prokaryotic PacBio data. Most bacteria and archaea encode DNA methylases, many of which are known components of restriction-modification systems. Usually, these are quite specific in terms of the sequences they recognize; the restriction component becomes a key defense mechanism preventing phages, plasmids, and other DNA elements from infecting the cell. Until recently, it was quite difficult to determine the recognition sequences of these methylases.…

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