Displacement of ɛ-proteobacterial core genes by horizontally transferred homologous genes

Tom Coenye, Peter Vandamme
2005 Research in Microbiology  
The introduction of novel genes by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is considered an alternative mechanism for genetic adaptation, leading to diversification and speciation. The goal of this study was to determine which genes that are present in all sequenced ε-proteobacterial genomes were acquired by HGT. In our approach we used BLAST analysis to reduce the number of genes that subsequently needed to be analysed using more in-depth phylogenetic methods, including neighbour-joining and maximum
more » ... elihood. Among the 991 core genes found in all five completed ε-proteobacterial genome sequences, we identified 30 genes that were probably acquired by HGT. It is proposed that these genes displaced an ancestral core gene with a similar function. Although it was not possible to identify putative donor taxa for all acquired genes, it was clear that genes were acquired from a wide range of Bacteria, including Spirochaetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, mycoplasmas and several subdivisions of the Proteobacteria. We did not observe HGT from Archaea to the ε-Proteobacteria. The majority of acquired genes were operational genes involved in transport, metabolism, signal transduction and energy production and conversion.
doi:10.1016/j.resmic.2005.01.016 pmid:15950129 fatcat:gqxhuctyenhwzfuzaqwi5ppg2m