Deadly E. coli
Species: Rare hemorrhage-causing strain of E. coli, O104:H4
Genome size: 5.2 million base pairs
Interesting fact: This strain of E. coli, which caused the recent deadly outbreak in Germany, is a new serotype not involved in any previous E. coli outbreaks. It has acquired several antibiotic resistance genes and specific genetic sequences involved in aggregation ability and virulence.
Species: Tasmanian devil, Sarcophilus harrisii
Genome size: 3.2 billion base pairs
Interesting fact: Tasmanian devils, which live in the wild only on theisland ofTasmania in Australia, have low genetic diversity within their population. This low diversity, however, preceded the Devil Facial Tumor Disease outbreak that has spread rapidly since it was first observed 15 years ago and now threatens the species with extinction.
A yeast trio
Species: Three yeasts— Saccharomyces bayanus, S.kudriavzevii and S. mikatae
Genome size: 11 million base pairs each
Interesting fact: The five most commonly studied Saccharomyces yeast species share 5,261 protein-coding orthologs, making them a prime model organism to study the tempo and mechanisms of yeast gene evolution.