Plant study may lead to Chlamydia cure

November 8, 2006

U.S. scientists have discovered the Chlamydia bacterium, which causes a sexually transmitted disease, shares an evolutionary heritage with plants.

That shared evolutionary heritage, which is not found in most other bacteria, points to a prime target for development of an effective cure for Chlamydia infections, Rutgers University researchers said.

"The unique connection between the Chlamydia bacterium and plants had been proposed by others," said Professor Thomas Leustek. "But we have now described a specific example demonstrating the common heritage. That specific example, an enzyme that supports protein production, could lead to antibiotics specific for this form of STD."

He noted the discovery wouldn't have been possible 10 years ago -- before the advent of genome sequencing. "But now we have access to more that 500 different genomes in a data base," said Leustek. "After having identified a gene in plants, I can quickly identify the homologous gene from any bacteria in the database."

The research appears in the early, online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.