To the surprise of evolutionists, the number of genes is much greater than originally predicted (by as much as 50%). For example, the bacterium E. coli was thought to have 134 essential genes, but the new study indicates the number may be closer to 245.
Another interesting note is that the simplest bacterium has yet to be produced in a laboratory. Even if bacteria were produced in a lab, such an achievement would only demonstrate that highly intelligent scientists had to use state-of-the-art technology to accomplish this feat. This would be the work of intelligent design, not natural selection and random mutations.
While studying such things as minimal genomes may assist in the engineering of useful bacteria in the future, the evolutionary significance is non-existent. The problem is that evolution requires a gain of genetic information, not just altering current DNA. No known natural mechanism exists for adding new genetic information.
Rather than this research being a doorway to a better understanding of a universal, evolutionary ancestor, it is an open window to a greater appreciation of the intelligence and complexity of the Creator God.