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Sample records for horizontally transferred genes

  1. Horizontal gene transfer in plants.

    PubMed

    Gao, Caihua; Ren, Xiaodong; Mason, Annaliese S; Liu, Honglei; Xiao, Meili; Li, Jiana; Fu, Donghui

    2014-03-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) describes the transmission of genetic material across species boundaries. HGT often occurs in microbic and eukaryotic genomes. However, the pathways by which HGTs occur in multicellular eukaryotes, especially in plants, are not well understood. We systematically summarized more than ten possible pathways for HGT. The intimate contact which frequently occurs in parasitism, symbiosis, pathogen, epiphyte, entophyte, and grafting interactions could promote HGTs between two species. Besides these direct transfer methods, genes can be exchanged with a vector as a bridge: possible vectors include pollen, fungi, bacteria, viruses, viroids, plasmids, transposons, and insects. HGT, especially when involving horizontal transfer of transposable elements, is recognized as a significant force propelling genomic variation and biological innovation, playing an important functional and evolutionary role in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes. We proposed possible mechanisms by which HGTs can occur, which is useful in understanding the genetic information exchange among distant species or distant cellular components. PMID:24132513

  2. Horizontal gene transfer, genome innovation and evolution.

    PubMed

    Gogarten, J Peter; Townsend, Jeffrey P

    2005-09-01

    To what extent is the tree of life the best representation of the evolutionary history of microorganisms? Recent work has shown that, among sets of prokaryotic genomes in which most homologous genes show extremely low sequence divergence, gene content can vary enormously, implying that those genes that are variably present or absent are frequently horizontally transferred. Traditionally, successful horizontal gene transfer was assumed to provide a selective advantage to either the host or the gene itself, but could horizontally transferred genes be neutral or nearly neutral? We suggest that for many prokaryotes, the boundaries between species are fuzzy, and therefore the principles of population genetics must be broadened so that they can be applied to higher taxonomic categories. PMID:16138096

  3. Horizontal gene transfer between bacteria and animals.

    PubMed

    Dunning Hotopp, Julie C

    2011-04-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is increasingly described between bacteria and animals. Such transfers that are vertically inherited have the potential to influence the evolution of animals. One classic example is the transfer of DNA from mitochondria and chloroplasts to the nucleus after the acquisition of these organelles by eukaryotes. Even today, many of the described instances of bacteria-to-animal transfer occur as part of intimate relationships such as those of endosymbionts and their invertebrate hosts, particularly insects and nematodes, while numerous transfers are also found in asexual animals. Both of these observations are consistent with modern evolutionary theory, in particular the serial endosymbiotic theory and Muller's ratchet. Although it is tempting to suggest that these particular lifestyles promote horizontal gene transfer, it is difficult to ascertain given the nonrandom sampling of animal genome sequencing projects and the lack of a systematic analysis of animal genomes for such transfers. PMID:21334091

  4. High expression hampers horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Park, Chungoo; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2012-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the movement of genetic material from one species to another, is a common phenomenon in prokaryotic evolution. Although the rate of HGT is known to vary among genes, our understanding of the cause of this variation, currently summarized by two rules, is far from complete. The first rule states that informational genes, which are involved in DNA replication, transcription, and translation, have lower transferabilities than operational genes. The second rule asserts that protein interactivity negatively impacts gene transferability. Here, we hypothesize that high expression hampers HGT, because the fitness cost of an HGT to the recipient, arising from the 1) energy expenditure in transcription and translation, 2) cytotoxic protein misfolding, 3) reduction in cellular translational efficiency, 4) detrimental protein misinteraction, and 5) disturbance of the optimal protein concentration or cell physiology, increases with the expression level of the transferred gene. To test this hypothesis, we examined laboratory and natural HGTs to Escherichia coli. We observed lower transferabilities of more highly expressed genes, even after controlling the confounding factors from the two established rules and the genic GC content. Furthermore, expression level predicts gene transferability better than all other factors examined. We also confirmed the significant negative impact of gene expression on the rate of HGTs to 127 of 133 genomes of eubacteria and archaebacteria. Together, these findings establish the gene expression level as a major determinant of horizontal gene transferability. They also suggest that most successful HGTs are initially slightly deleterious, fixed because of their negligibly low costs rather than high benefits to the recipient. PMID:22436996

  5. Horizontal Gene Transfer, Dispersal and Haloarchaeal Speciation

    PubMed Central

    Papke, R. Thane; Corral, Paulina; Ram-Mohan, Nikhil; de la Haba, Rafael R.; Sánchez-Porro, Cristina; Makkay, Andrea; Ventosa, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    The Halobacteria are a well-studied archaeal class and numerous investigations are showing how their diversity is distributed amongst genomes and geographic locations. Evidence indicates that recombination between species continuously facilitates the arrival of new genes, and within species, it is frequent enough to spread acquired genes amongst all individuals in the population. To create permanent independent diversity and generate new species, barriers to recombination are probably required. The data support an interpretation that rates of evolution (e.g., horizontal gene transfer and mutation) are faster at creating geographically localized variation than dispersal and invasion are at homogenizing genetic differences between locations. Therefore, we suggest that recurrent episodes of dispersal followed by variable periods of endemism break the homogenizing forces of intrapopulation recombination and that this process might be the principal stimulus leading to divergence and speciation in Halobacteria. PMID:25997110

  6. Horizontal gene transfer from Agrobacterium to plants

    PubMed Central

    Matveeva, Tatiana V.; Lutova, Ludmila A.

    2014-01-01

    Most genetic engineering of plants uses Agrobacterium mediated transformation to introduce novel gene content. In nature, insertion of T-DNA in the plant genome and its subsequent transfer via sexual reproduction has been shown in several species in the genera Nicotiana and Linaria. In these natural examples of horizontal gene transfer from Agrobacterium to plants, the T-DNA donor is assumed to be a mikimopine strain of A. rhizogenes. A sequence homologous to the T-DNA of the Ri plasmid of Agrobacterium rhizogenes was found in the genome of untransformed Nicotiana glauca about 30 years ago, and was named “cellular T-DNA” (cT-DNA). It represents an imperfect inverted repeat and contains homologs of several T-DNA oncogenes (NgrolB, NgrolC, NgORF13, NgORF14) and an opine synthesis gene (Ngmis). A similar cT-DNA has also been found in other species of the genus Nicotiana. These presumably ancient homologs of T-DNA genes are still expressed, indicating that they may play a role in the evolution of these plants. Recently T-DNA has been detected and characterized in Linaria vulgaris and L. dalmatica. In Linaria vulgaris the cT-DNA is present in two copies and organized as a tandem imperfect direct repeat, containing LvORF2, LvORF3, LvORF8, LvrolA, LvrolB, LvrolC, LvORF13, LvORF14, and the Lvmis genes. All L. vulgaris and L. dalmatica plants screened contained the same T-DNA oncogenes and the mis gene. Evidence suggests that there were several independent T-DNA integration events into the genomes of these plant genera. We speculate that ancient plants transformed by A. rhizogenes might have acquired a selective advantage in competition with the parental species. Thus, the events of T-DNA insertion in the plant genome might have affected their evolution, resulting in the creation of new plant species. In this review we focus on the structure and functions of cT-DNA in Linaria and Nicotiana and discuss their possible evolutionary role. PMID:25157257

  7. Horizontal gene transfer of stress resistance genes through plasmid transport.

    PubMed

    Shoeb, Erum; Badar, Uzma; Akhter, Jameela; Shams, Hina; Sultana, Maria; Ansari, Maqsood A

    2012-03-01

    The horizontal gene transfer of plasmid-determined stress tolerance was achieved under lab conditions. Bacterial isolates, Enterobacter cloacae (DGE50) and Escherichia coli (DGE57) were used throughout the study. Samples were collected from contaminated marine water and soil to isolate bacterial strains having tolerance against heavy metals and antimicrobial agents. We have demonstrated plasmid transfer, from Amp(+)Cu(+)Zn(-) strain (DGE50) to Amp(-)Cu(-)Zn(+) strain (DGE57), producing Amp(+)Cu(+)Zn(+) transconjugants (DGE(TC50→57)) and Amp(+)Cu(-)Zn(+) transformants (DGE(TF50→57)). DGE57 did not carry any plasmid, therefore, it can be speculated that zinc tolerance gene in DGE57 is located on chromosome. DGE50 was found to carry three plasmids, out of which two were transferred through conjugation into DGE57, and only one was transferred through transformation. Plasmid transferred through transformation was one out of the two transferred through conjugation. Through the results of transformation it was revealed that the genes of copper and ampicillin tolerance in DGE50 were located on separate plasmids, since only ampicillin tolerance genes were transferred through transformation as a result of one plasmid transfer. By showing transfer of plasmids under lab conditions and monitoring retention of respective phenotype via conjugation and transformation, it is very well demonstrated how multiple stress tolerant strains are generated in nature. PMID:22805823

  8. Global Analysis of Horizontal Gene Transfer in Fusarium verticillioides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The co-occurrence of microbes within plants and other specialized niches may facilitate horizontal gene transfer (HGT) affecting host-pathogen interactions. We recently identified fungal-to-fungal HGTs involving metabolic gene clusters. For a global analysis of HGTs in the maize pathogen Fusarium ve...

  9. Evolution of and Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Endornavirus Genus

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sang-Ho; Jo, Yeonhwa; Kim, Kook-Hyung

    2013-01-01

    The transfer of genetic information between unrelated species is referred to as horizontal gene transfer. Previous studies have demonstrated that both retroviral and non-retroviral sequences have been integrated into eukaryotic genomes. Recently, we identified many non-retroviral sequences in plant genomes. In this study, we investigated the evolutionary origin and gene transfer of domains present in endornaviruses which are double-stranded RNA viruses. Using the available sequences for endornaviruses, we found that Bell pepper endornavirus-like sequences homologous to the glycosyltransferase 28 domain are present in plants, fungi, and bacteria. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the glycosyltransferase 28 domain of Bell pepper endornavirus may have originated from bacteria. In addition, two domains of Oryza sativa endornavirus, a glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domain and a capsular polysaccharide synthesis protein, also exhibited high similarity to those of bacteria. We found evidence that at least four independent horizontal gene transfer events for the glycosyltransferase 28 domain have occurred among plants, fungi, and bacteria. The glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domains of two proteobacteria may have been horizontally transferred to the genome of Thalassiosira pseudonana. Our study is the first to show that three glycome-related viral genes in the genus Endornavirus have been acquired from marine bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. PMID:23667703

  10. Evolution of and horizontal gene transfer in the Endornavirus genus.

    PubMed

    Song, Dami; Cho, Won Kyong; Park, Sang-Ho; Jo, Yeonhwa; Kim, Kook-Hyung

    2013-01-01

    The transfer of genetic information between unrelated species is referred to as horizontal gene transfer. Previous studies have demonstrated that both retroviral and non-retroviral sequences have been integrated into eukaryotic genomes. Recently, we identified many non-retroviral sequences in plant genomes. In this study, we investigated the evolutionary origin and gene transfer of domains present in endornaviruses which are double-stranded RNA viruses. Using the available sequences for endornaviruses, we found that Bell pepper endornavirus-like sequences homologous to the glycosyltransferase 28 domain are present in plants, fungi, and bacteria. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the glycosyltransferase 28 domain of Bell pepper endornavirus may have originated from bacteria. In addition, two domains of Oryza sativa endornavirus, a glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domain and a capsular polysaccharide synthesis protein, also exhibited high similarity to those of bacteria. We found evidence that at least four independent horizontal gene transfer events for the glycosyltransferase 28 domain have occurred among plants, fungi, and bacteria. The glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domains of two proteobacteria may have been horizontally transferred to the genome of Thalassiosira pseudonana. Our study is the first to show that three glycome-related viral genes in the genus Endornavirus have been acquired from marine bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. PMID:23667703

  11. Detection of horizontal gene transfers from phylogenetic comparisons.

    PubMed

    Pylro, Victor Satler; Vespoli, Luciano de Souza; Duarte, Gabriela Frois; Yotoko, Karla Suemy Clemente

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial phylogenies have become one of the most important challenges for microbial ecology. This field started in the mid-1970s with the aim of using the sequence of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S) tool to infer bacterial phylogenies. Phylogenetic hypotheses based on other sequences usually give conflicting topologies that reveal different evolutionary histories, which in some cases may be the result of horizontal gene transfer events. Currently, one of the major goals of molecular biology is to understand the role that horizontal gene transfer plays in species adaptation and evolution. In this work, we compared the phylogenetic tree based on 16S with the tree based on dszC, a gene involved in the cleavage of carbon-sulfur bonds. Bacteria of several genera perform this survival task when living in environments lacking free mineral sulfur. The biochemical pathway of the desulphurization process was extensively studied due to its economic importance, since this step is expensive and indispensable in fuel production. Our results clearly show that horizontal gene transfer events could be detected using common phylogenetic methods with gene sequences obtained from public sequence databases. PMID:22675653

  12. Horizontal functional gene transfer from bacteria to fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bao-Fa; Li, Tong; Xiao, Jin-Hua; Jia, Ling-Yi; Liu, Li; Zhang, Peng; Murphy, Robert W.; He, Shun-Min; Huang, Da-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Invertebrates can acquire functional genes via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria but fishes are not known to do so. We provide the first reliable evidence of one HGT event from marine bacteria to fishes. The HGT appears to have occurred after emergence of the teleosts. The transferred gene is expressed and regulated developmentally. Its successful integration and expression may change the genetic and metabolic repertoire of fishes. In addition, this gene contains conserved domains and similar tertiary structures in fishes and their putative donor bacteria. Thus, it may function similarly in both groups. Evolutionary analyses indicate that it evolved under purifying selection, further indicating its conserved function. We document the first likely case of HGT of functional gene from prokaryote to fishes. This discovery certifies that HGT can influence vertebrate evolution. PMID:26691285

  13. Detection of homologous horizontal gene transfer in SNP data

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2012-07-23

    We study the detection of mutations, sequencing errors, and homologous horizontal gene transfers (HGT) in a set of closely related microbial genomes. We base the model on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP's) and break the genomes into blocks to handle the rearrangement problem. Then we apply a synamic programming algorithm to model whether changes within each block are likely a result of mutations, sequencing errors, or HGT.

  14. Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes: The weak-link model

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jinling

    2013-01-01

    The significance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotic evolution remains controversial. Although many eukaryotic genes are of bacterial origin, they are often interpreted as being derived from mitochondria or plastids. Because of their fixed gene pool and gene loss, however, mitochondria and plastids alone cannot adequately explain the presence of all, or even the majority, of bacterial genes in eukaryotes. Available data indicate that no insurmountable barrier to HGT exists, even in complex multicellular eukaryotes. In addition, the discovery of both recent and ancient HGT events in all major eukaryotic groups suggests that HGT has been a regular occurrence throughout the history of eukaryotic evolution. A model of HGT is proposed that suggests both unicellular and early developmental stages as likely entry points for foreign genes into multicellular eukaryotes. PMID:24037739

  15. Detecting Horizontal Gene Transfer between Closely Related Taxa.

    PubMed

    Adato, Orit; Ninyo, Noga; Gophna, Uri; Snir, Sagi

    2015-10-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the transfer of genetic material between organisms, is crucial for genetic innovation and the evolution of genome architecture. Existing HGT detection algorithms rely on a strong phylogenetic signal distinguishing the transferred sequence from ancestral (vertically derived) genes in its recipient genome. Detecting HGT between closely related species or strains is challenging, as the phylogenetic signal is usually weak and the nucleotide composition is normally nearly identical. Nevertheless, there is a great importance in detecting HGT between congeneric species or strains, especially in clinical microbiology, where understanding the emergence of new virulent and drug-resistant strains is crucial, and often time-sensitive. We developed a novel, self-contained technique named Near HGT, based on the synteny index, to measure the divergence of a gene from its native genomic environment and used it to identify candidate HGT events between closely related strains. The method confirms candidate transferred genes based on the constant relative mutability (CRM). Using CRM, the algorithm assigns a confidence score based on "unusual" sequence divergence. A gene exhibiting exceptional deviations according to both synteny and mutability criteria, is considered a validated HGT product. We first employed the technique to a set of three E. coli strains and detected several highly probable horizontally acquired genes. We then compared the method to existing HGT detection tools using a larger strain data set. When combined with additional approaches our new algorithm provides richer picture and brings us closer to the goal of detecting all newly acquired genes in a particular strain. PMID:26439115

  16. Detecting Horizontal Gene Transfer between Closely Related Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Adato, Orit; Ninyo, Noga; Gophna, Uri; Snir, Sagi

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the transfer of genetic material between organisms, is crucial for genetic innovation and the evolution of genome architecture. Existing HGT detection algorithms rely on a strong phylogenetic signal distinguishing the transferred sequence from ancestral (vertically derived) genes in its recipient genome. Detecting HGT between closely related species or strains is challenging, as the phylogenetic signal is usually weak and the nucleotide composition is normally nearly identical. Nevertheless, there is a great importance in detecting HGT between congeneric species or strains, especially in clinical microbiology, where understanding the emergence of new virulent and drug-resistant strains is crucial, and often time-sensitive. We developed a novel, self-contained technique named Near HGT, based on the synteny index, to measure the divergence of a gene from its native genomic environment and used it to identify candidate HGT events between closely related strains. The method confirms candidate transferred genes based on the constant relative mutability (CRM). Using CRM, the algorithm assigns a confidence score based on “unusual” sequence divergence. A gene exhibiting exceptional deviations according to both synteny and mutability criteria, is considered a validated HGT product. We first employed the technique to a set of three E. coli strains and detected several highly probable horizontally acquired genes. We then compared the method to existing HGT detection tools using a larger strain data set. When combined with additional approaches our new algorithm provides richer picture and brings us closer to the goal of detecting all newly acquired genes in a particular strain. PMID:26439115

  17. Dynamic monitoring of horizontal gene transfer in soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, H. Y.; Masiello, C. A.; Silberg, J. J.; Bennett, G. N.

    2015-12-01

    Soil microbial gene expression underlies microbial behaviors (phenotypes) central to many aspects of C, N, and H2O cycling. However, continuous monitoring of microbial gene expression in soils is challenging because genetically-encoded reporter proteins widely used in the lab are difficult to deploy in soil matrices: for example, green fluorescent protein cannot be easily visualized in soils, even in the lab. To address this problem we have developed a reporter protein that releases small volatile gases. Here, we applied this gas reporter in a proof-of-concept soil experiment, monitoring horizontal gene transfer, a microbial activity that alters microbial genotypes and phenotypes. Horizontal gene transfer is central to bacterial evolution and adaptation and is relevant to problems such as the spread of antibiotic resistance, increasing metal tolerance in superfund sites, and bioremediation capability of bacterial consortia. This process is likely to be impacted by a number of matrix properties not well-represented in the petri dish, such as microscale variations in water, nutrients, and O2, making petri-dish experiments a poor proxy for environmental processes. We built a conjugation system using synthetic biology to demonstrate the use of gas-reporting biosensors in safe, lab-based biogeochemistry experiments, and here we report the use of these sensors to monitor horizontal gene transfer in soils. Our system is based on the F-plasmid conjugation in Escherichia coli. We have found that the gas signal reports on the number of cells that acquire F-plasmids (transconjugants) in a loamy Alfisol collected from Kellogg Biological Station. We will report how a gas signal generated by transconjugants varies with the number of F-plasmid donor and acceptor cells seeded in a soil, soil moisture, and soil O2 levels.

  18. Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributes to the Evolution of Arthropod Herbivory

    PubMed Central

    Wybouw, Nicky; Pauchet, Yannick; Heckel, David G.; Van Leeuwen, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Within animals, evolutionary transition toward herbivory is severely limited by the hostile characteristics of plants. Arthropods have nonetheless counteracted many nutritional and defensive barriers imposed by plants and are currently considered as the most successful animal herbivores in terrestrial ecosystems. We gather a body of evidence showing that genomes of various plant feeding insects and mites possess genes whose presence can only be explained by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT is the asexual transmission of genetic information between reproductively isolated species. Although HGT is known to have great adaptive significance in prokaryotes, its impact on eukaryotic evolution remains obscure. Here, we show that laterally transferred genes into arthropods underpin many adaptations to phytophagy, including efficient assimilation and detoxification of plant produced metabolites. Horizontally acquired genes and the traits they encode often functionally diversify within arthropod recipients, enabling the colonization of more host plant species and organs. We demonstrate that HGT can drive metazoan evolution by uncovering its prominent role in the adaptations of arthropods to exploit plants. PMID:27307274

  19. Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributes to the Evolution of Arthropod Herbivory.

    PubMed

    Wybouw, Nicky; Pauchet, Yannick; Heckel, David G; Van Leeuwen, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Within animals, evolutionary transition toward herbivory is severely limited by the hostile characteristics of plants. Arthropods have nonetheless counteracted many nutritional and defensive barriers imposed by plants and are currently considered as the most successful animal herbivores in terrestrial ecosystems. We gather a body of evidence showing that genomes of various plant feeding insects and mites possess genes whose presence can only be explained by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT is the asexual transmission of genetic information between reproductively isolated species. Although HGT is known to have great adaptive significance in prokaryotes, its impact on eukaryotic evolution remains obscure. Here, we show that laterally transferred genes into arthropods underpin many adaptations to phytophagy, including efficient assimilation and detoxification of plant produced metabolites. Horizontally acquired genes and the traits they encode often functionally diversify within arthropod recipients, enabling the colonization of more host plant species and organs. We demonstrate that HGT can drive metazoan evolution by uncovering its prominent role in the adaptations of arthropods to exploit plants. PMID:27307274

  20. Adaptive Horizontal Gene Transfers between Multiple Cheese-Associated Fungi.

    PubMed

    Ropars, Jeanne; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; López-Villavicencio, Manuela; Gouzy, Jérôme; Sallet, Erika; Dumas, Émilie; Lacoste, Sandrine; Debuchy, Robert; Dupont, Joëlle; Branca, Antoine; Giraud, Tatiana

    2015-10-01

    Domestication is an excellent model for studies of adaptation because it involves recent and strong selection on a few, identified traits [1-5]. Few studies have focused on the domestication of fungi, with notable exceptions [6-11], despite their importance to bioindustry [12] and to a general understanding of adaptation in eukaryotes [5]. Penicillium fungi are ubiquitous molds among which two distantly related species have been independently selected for cheese making-P. roqueforti for blue cheeses like Roquefort and P. camemberti for soft cheeses like Camembert. The selected traits include morphology, aromatic profile, lipolytic and proteolytic activities, and ability to grow at low temperatures, in a matrix containing bacterial and fungal competitors [13-15]. By comparing the genomes of ten Penicillium species, we show that adaptation to cheese was associated with multiple recent horizontal transfers of large genomic regions carrying crucial metabolic genes. We identified seven horizontally transferred regions (HTRs) spanning more than 10 kb each, flanked by specific transposable elements, and displaying nearly 100% identity between distant Penicillium species. Two HTRs carried genes with functions involved in the utilization of cheese nutrients or competition and were found nearly identical in multiple strains and species of cheese-associated Penicillium fungi, indicating recent selective sweeps; they were experimentally associated with faster growth and greater competitiveness on cheese and contained genes highly expressed in the early stage of cheese maturation. These findings have industrial and food safety implications and improve our understanding of the processes of adaptation to rapid environmental changes. PMID:26412136

  1. HGTree: database of horizontally transferred genes determined by tree reconciliation

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Hyeonsoo; Sung, Samsun; Kwon, Taehyung; Seo, Minseok; Caetano-Anollés, Kelsey; Choi, Sang Ho; Cho, Seoae; Nasir, Arshan; Kim, Heebal

    2016-01-01

    The HGTree database provides putative genome-wide horizontal gene transfer (HGT) information for 2472 completely sequenced prokaryotic genomes. This task is accomplished by reconstructing approximate maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees for each orthologous gene and corresponding 16S rRNA reference species sets and then reconciling the two trees under parsimony framework. The tree reconciliation method is generally considered to be a reliable way to detect HGT events but its practical use has remained limited because the method is computationally intensive and conceptually challenging. In this regard, HGTree (http://hgtree.snu.ac.kr) represents a useful addition to the biological community and enables quick and easy retrieval of information for HGT-acquired genes to better understand microbial taxonomy and evolution. The database is freely available and can be easily scaled and updated to keep pace with the rapid rise in genomic information. PMID:26578597

  2. Horizontal gene transfer in the human gastrointestinal tract: potential spread of antibiotic resistance genes

    PubMed Central

    Huddleston, Jennifer R

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat due to widespread antibiotic resistance among pathogens. This review aims to give an overview of the major horizontal transfer mechanisms and their evolution and then demonstrate the human lower gastrointestinal tract as an environment in which horizontal gene transfer of resistance determinants occurs. Finally, implications for antibiotic usage and the development of resistant infections and persistence of antibiotic resistance genes in populations as a result of horizontal gene transfer in the large intestine will be discussed. PMID:25018641

  3. Evidence of horizontal gene transfer between obligate leaf nodule symbionts.

    PubMed

    Pinto-Carbó, Marta; Sieber, Simon; Dessein, Steven; Wicker, Thomas; Verstraete, Brecht; Gademann, Karl; Eberl, Leo; Carlier, Aurelien

    2016-09-01

    Bacteria of the genus Burkholderia establish an obligate symbiosis with plant species of the Rubiaceae and Primulaceae families. The bacteria, housed within the leaves, are transmitted hereditarily and have not yet been cultured. We have sequenced and compared the genomes of eight bacterial leaf nodule symbionts of the Rubiaceae plant family. All of the genomes exhibit features consistent with genome erosion. Genes potentially involved in the biosynthesis of kirkamide, an insecticidal C7N aminocyclitol, are conserved in most Rubiaceae symbionts. However, some have partially lost the kirkamide pathway due to genome erosion and are unable to synthesize the compound. Kirkamide synthesis is therefore not responsible for the obligate nature of the symbiosis. More importantly, we find evidence of intra-clade horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events affecting genes of the secondary metabolism. This indicates that substantial gene flow can occur at the early stages following host restriction in leaf nodule symbioses. We propose that host-switching events and plasmid conjugative transfers could have promoted these HGTs. This genomic analysis of leaf nodule symbionts gives, for the first time, new insights in the genome evolution of obligate symbionts in their early stages of the association with plants. PMID:26978165

  4. Adaptive Horizontal Gene Transfers between Multiple Cheese-Associated Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Ropars, Jeanne; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C.; López-Villavicencio, Manuela; Gouzy, Jérôme; Sallet, Erika; Dumas, Émilie; Lacoste, Sandrine; Debuchy, Robert; Dupont, Joëlle; Branca, Antoine; Giraud, Tatiana

    2015-01-01

    Summary Domestication is an excellent model for studies of adaptation because it involves recent and strong selection on a few, identified traits [1–5]. Few studies have focused on the domestication of fungi, with notable exceptions [6–11], despite their importance to bioindustry [12] and to a general understanding of adaptation in eukaryotes [5]. Penicillium fungi are ubiquitous molds among which two distantly related species have been independently selected for cheese making—P. roqueforti for blue cheeses like Roquefort and P. camemberti for soft cheeses like Camembert. The selected traits include morphology, aromatic profile, lipolytic and proteolytic activities, and ability to grow at low temperatures, in a matrix containing bacterial and fungal competitors [13–15]. By comparing the genomes of ten Penicillium species, we show that adaptation to cheese was associated with multiple recent horizontal transfers of large genomic regions carrying crucial metabolic genes. We identified seven horizontally transferred regions (HTRs) spanning more than 10 kb each, flanked by specific transposable elements, and displaying nearly 100% identity between distant Penicillium species. Two HTRs carried genes with functions involved in the utilization of cheese nutrients or competition and were found nearly identical in multiple strains and species of cheese-associated Penicillium fungi, indicating recent selective sweeps; they were experimentally associated with faster growth and greater competitiveness on cheese and contained genes highly expressed in the early stage of cheese maturation. These findings have industrial and food safety implications and improve our understanding of the processes of adaptation to rapid environmental changes. PMID:26412136

  5. Synthetic Fatty Acids Prevent Plasmid-Mediated Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Getino, María; Sanabria-Ríos, David J.; Fernández-López, Raúl; Campos-Gómez, Javier; Sánchez-López, José M.; Fernández, Antonio; Carballeira, Néstor M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacterial conjugation constitutes a major horizontal gene transfer mechanism for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes among human pathogens. Antibiotic resistance spread could be halted or diminished by molecules that interfere with the conjugation process. In this work, synthetic 2-alkynoic fatty acids were identified as a novel class of conjugation inhibitors. Their chemical properties were investigated by using the prototype 2-hexadecynoic acid and its derivatives. Essential features of effective inhibitors were the carboxylic group, an optimal long aliphatic chain of 16 carbon atoms, and one unsaturation. Chemical modification of these groups led to inactive or less-active derivatives. Conjugation inhibitors were found to act on the donor cell, affecting a wide number of pathogenic bacterial hosts, including Escherichia, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter spp. Conjugation inhibitors were active in inhibiting transfer of IncF, IncW, and IncH plasmids, moderately active against IncI, IncL/M, and IncX plasmids, and inactive against IncP and IncN plasmids. Importantly, the use of 2-hexadecynoic acid avoided the spread of a derepressed IncF plasmid into a recipient population, demonstrating the feasibility of abolishing the dissemination of antimicrobial resistances by blocking bacterial conjugation. PMID:26330514

  6. Interaction between Conjugative and Retrotransposable Elements in Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Novikova, Olga; Smith, Dorie; Hahn, Ingrid; Beauregard, Arthur; Belfort, Marlene

    2014-01-01

    Mobile genetic elements either encode their own mobilization machineries or hijack them from other mobile elements. Multiple classes of mobile elements often coexist within genomes and it is unclear whether they have the capacity to functionally interact and even collaborate. We investigate the possibility that molecular machineries of disparate mobile elements may functionally interact, using the example of a retrotransposon, in the form of a mobile group II intron, found on a conjugative plasmid pRS01 in Lactococcus lactis. This intron resides within the pRS01 ltrB gene encoding relaxase, the enzyme required for nicking the transfer origin (oriT) for conjugal transmission of the plasmid into a recipient cell. Here, we show that relaxase stimulates both the frequency and diversity of retrotransposition events using a retromobility indicator gene (RIG), and by developing a high-throughput genomic retrotransposition detection system called RIG-Seq. We demonstrate that LtrB relaxase not only nicks ssDNA of its cognate oriT in a sequence- and strand-specific manner, but also possesses weak off-target activity. Together, the data support a model in which the two different mobile elements, one using an RNA-based mechanism, the other using DNA-based transfer, do functionally interact. Intron splicing facilitates relaxase expression required for conjugation, whereas relaxase introduces spurious nicks in recipient DNA that stimulate both the frequency of intron mobility and the density of events. We hypothesize that this functional interaction between the mobile elements would promote horizontal conjugal gene transfer while stimulating intron dissemination in the donor and recipient cells. PMID:25474706

  7. Estimating the Frequency of Horizontal Gene Transfer Using Phylogenetic Models of Gene Gain and Loss.

    PubMed

    Zamani-Dahaj, Seyed Alireza; Okasha, Mohamed; Kosakowski, Jakub; Higgs, Paul G

    2016-07-01

    We analyze patterns of gene presence and absence in a maximum likelihood framework with rate parameters for gene gain and loss. Standard methods allow independent gains and losses in different parts of a tree. While losses of the same gene are likely to be frequent, multiple gains need to be considered carefully. A gene gain could occur by horizontal transfer or by origin of a gene within the lineage being studied. If a gene is gained more than once, then at least one of these gains must be a horizontal transfer. A key parameter is the ratio of gain to loss rates, a/v We consider the limiting case known as the infinitely many genes model, where a/v tends to zero and a gene cannot be gained more than once. The infinitely many genes model is used as a null model in comparison to models that allow multiple gains. Using genome data from cyanobacteria and archaea, it is found that the likelihood is significantly improved by allowing for multiple gains, but the average a/v is very small. The fraction of genes whose presence/absence pattern is best explained by multiple gains is only 15% in the cyanobacteria and 20% and 39% in two data sets of archaea. The distribution of rates of gene loss is very broad, which explains why many genes follow a treelike pattern of vertical inheritance, despite the presence of a significant minority of genes that undergo horizontal transfer. PMID:27189546

  8. Microbial Evolution Is in the Cards: Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kagle, Jeanne; Hay, Anthony G.

    2007-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer, the exchange of genetic material between bacteria, is a potentially important factor in the degradation of synthetic compounds introduced to the environment and in the acquisition of other characteristics including antibiotic resistance. This game-based activity illustrates the role of horizontal gene transfer in the…

  9. Horizontal gene transfer in the acquisition of novel traits by metazoans

    PubMed Central

    Boto, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is accepted as an important evolutionary force modulating the evolution of prokaryote genomes. However, it is thought that horizontal gene transfer plays only a minor role in metazoan evolution. In this paper, I critically review the rising evidence on horizontally transferred genes and on the acquisition of novel traits in metazoans. In particular, I discuss suspected examples in sponges, cnidarians, rotifers, nematodes, molluscs and arthropods which suggest that horizontal gene transfer in metazoans is not simply a curiosity. In addition, I stress the scarcity of studies in vertebrates and other animal groups and the importance of forthcoming studies to understand the importance and extent of horizontal gene transfer in animals. PMID:24403327

  10. Widespread impact of horizontal gene transfer on plant colonization of land

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Jipei; Hu, Xiangyang; Sun, Hang; Yang, Yongping; Huang, Jinling

    2012-01-01

    In complex multicellular eukaryotes such as animals and plants, horizontal gene transfer is commonly considered rare with very limited evolutionary significance. Here we show that horizontal gene transfer is a dynamic process occurring frequently in the early evolution of land plants. Our genome analyses of the moss Physcomitrella patens identified 57 families of nuclear genes that were acquired from prokaryotes, fungi or viruses. Many of these gene families were transferred to the ancestors of green or land plants. Available experimental evidence shows that these anciently acquired genes are involved in some essential or plant-specific activities such as xylem formation, plant defence, nitrogen recycling as well as the biosynthesis of starch, polyamines, hormones and glutathione. These findings suggest that horizontal gene transfer had a critical role in the transition of plants from aquatic to terrestrial environments. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model of horizontal gene transfer mechanism in nonvascular and seedless vascular plants. PMID:23093189

  11. Migration and horizontal gene transfer divide microbial genomes into multiple niches

    PubMed Central

    Niehus, Rene; Mitri, Sara; Fletcher, Alexander G.; Foster, Kevin R.

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is central to microbial evolution, because it enables genetic regions to spread horizontally through diverse communities. However, how gene transfer exerts such a strong effect is not understood. Here we develop an eco-evolutionary model and show how genetic transfer, even when rare, can transform the evolution and ecology of microbes. We recapitulate existing models, which suggest that asexual reproduction will overpower horizontal transfer and greatly limit its effects. We then show that allowing immigration completely changes these predictions. With migration, the rates and impacts of horizontal transfer are greatly increased, and transfer is most frequent for loci under positive natural selection. Our analysis explains how ecologically important loci can sweep through competing strains and species. In this way, microbial genomes can evolve to become ecologically diverse where different genomic regions encode for partially overlapping, but distinct, ecologies. Under these conditions ecological species do not exist, because genes, not species, inhabit niches. PMID:26592443

  12. Migration and horizontal gene transfer divide microbial genomes into multiple niches.

    PubMed

    Niehus, Rene; Mitri, Sara; Fletcher, Alexander G; Foster, Kevin R

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is central to microbial evolution, because it enables genetic regions to spread horizontally through diverse communities. However, how gene transfer exerts such a strong effect is not understood. Here we develop an eco-evolutionary model and show how genetic transfer, even when rare, can transform the evolution and ecology of microbes. We recapitulate existing models, which suggest that asexual reproduction will overpower horizontal transfer and greatly limit its effects. We then show that allowing immigration completely changes these predictions. With migration, the rates and impacts of horizontal transfer are greatly increased, and transfer is most frequent for loci under positive natural selection. Our analysis explains how ecologically important loci can sweep through competing strains and species. In this way, microbial genomes can evolve to become ecologically diverse where different genomic regions encode for partially overlapping, but distinct, ecologies. Under these conditions ecological species do not exist, because genes, not species, inhabit niches. PMID:26592443

  13. Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Genomics of Enterococcal Antibiotic Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Kelli L.; Kos, Veronica N.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Enterococci are Gram-positive bacteria that normally colonize gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. They are of growing concern because of their ability to cause antibiotic resistant hospital infections. Antibiotic resistance has been acquired, and has disseminated throughout enterococci, via horizontal transfer of mobile genetic elements. This transmission has been mediated mainly by conjugative plasmids of the pheromone-responsive and broad host range incompatibility group 18 type. Genome sequencing is revealing the extent of diversity of these and other mobile elements in enterococci, as well as the extent of recombination and rearrangement resulting in new phenotypes. Pheromone-responsive plasmids were recently shown to promote genome plasticity in antibiotic resistant Enterococcus faecalis, and their involvement has been implicated in E. faecium as well. Further, incompatibility group 18 plasmids have recently played an important role in mediating transfer of vancomycin resistance from enterococci to methicillin resistant strains of S. aureus. PMID:20837397

  14. Statistical Mechanics of Horizontal Gene Transfer in Evolutionary Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chia, Nicholas; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2011-04-01

    The biological world, especially its majority microbial component, is strongly interacting and may be dominated by collective effects. In this review, we provide a brief introduction for statistical physicists of the way in which living cells communicate genetically through transferred genes, as well as the ways in which they can reorganize their genomes in response to environmental pressure. We discuss how genome evolution can be thought of as related to the physical phenomenon of annealing, and describe the sense in which genomes can be said to exhibit an analogue of information entropy. As a direct application of these ideas, we analyze the variation with ocean depth of transposons in marine microbial genomes, predicting trends that are consistent with recent observations using metagenomic surveys.

  15. Indications for Acquisition of Reductive Dehalogenase Genes through Horizontal Gene Transfer by Dehalococcoides ethenogenes Strain 195

    PubMed Central

    Regeard, Christophe; Maillard, Julien; Dufraigne, Christine; Deschavanne, Patrick; Holliger, Christof

    2005-01-01

    The genome of Dehalococcoides ethenogenes strain 195, an anaerobic dehalorespiring bacterium, contains 18 copies of putative reductive dehalogenase genes, including the well-characterized tceA gene, whose gene product functions as the key enzyme in the environmentally important dehalorespiration process. The genome of D. ethenogenes was analyzed using a bioinformatic tool based on the frequency of oligonucleotides. The results in the form of a genomic signature revealed several local disruptions of the host signature along the genome sequence. These fractures represent DNA segments of potentially foreign origin, so-called atypical regions, which may have been acquired by an ancestor through horizontal gene transfer. Most interestingly, 15 of the 18 reductive dehalogenase genes, including the tceA gene, were found to be located in these regions, strongly indicating the foreign nature of the dehalorespiration activity. The GC content and the presence of recombinase genes within some of these regions corroborate this hypothesis. A hierarchical classification of the atypical regions containing the reductive dehalogenase genes indicated that these regions were probably acquired by several gene transfer events. PMID:15932990

  16. Genome-wide experimental determination of barriers to horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Sorek, Rotem; Zhu, Yiwen; Creevey, Christopher J; Francino, M Pilar; Bork, Peer; Rubin, Edward M

    2007-11-30

    Horizontal gene transfer, in which genetic material is transferred from the genome of one organism to that of another, has been investigated in microbial species mainly through computational sequence analyses. To address the lack of experimental data, we studied the attempted movement of 246,045 genes from 79 prokaryotic genomes into Escherichia coli and identified genes that consistently fail to transfer. We studied the mechanisms underlying transfer inhibition by placing coding regions from different species under the control of inducible promoters. Our data suggest that toxicity to the host inhibited transfer regardless of the species of origin and that increased gene dosage and associated increased expression may be a predominant cause for transfer failure. Although these experimental studies examined transfer solely into E. coli, a computational analysis of gene-transfer rates across available bacterial and archaeal genomes supports that the barriers observed in our study are general across the tree of life. PMID:17947550

  17. Genome-wide experimental determination of barriers to horizontal gene transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Rubin, Edward; Sorek, Rotem; Zhu, Yiwen; Creevey, Christopher J.; Francino, M. Pilar; Bork, Peer; Rubin, Edward M.

    2007-09-24

    Horizontal gene transfer, in which genetic material is transferred from the genome of one organism to another, has been investigated in microbial species mainly through computational sequence analyses. To address the lack of experimental data, we studied the attempted movement of 246,045 genes from 79 prokaryotic genomes into E. coli and identified genes that consistently fail to transfer. We studied the mechanisms underlying transfer inhibition by placing coding regions from different species under the control of inducible promoters. Their toxicity to the host inhibited transfer regardless of the species of origin and our data suggest that increased gene dosage and associated increased expression is a predominant cause for transfer failure. While these experimental studies examined transfer solely into E. coli, a computational analysis of gene transfer rates across available bacterial and archaeal genomes indicates that the barriers observed in our study are general across the tree of life.

  18. Horizontal transference of S-layer genes within Thermus thermophilus.

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Herrero, L A; Olabarría, G; Castón, J R; Lasa, I; Berenguer, J

    1995-01-01

    The S-layers of Thermus thermophilus HB27 and T. thermophilus HB8 are composed of protein units of 95 kDa (P95) and 100 kDa (P100), respectively. We have selected S-layer deletion mutants from both strains by complete replacement of the slpA gene. Mutants of the two strains showed similar defects in growth and morphology and overproduced an external cell envelope inside of which cells remained after division. However, the nature of this external layer is strain specific, being easily stained and regular in the HB8 delta slpA derivative and amorphous and poorly stained in the HB27 delta slpA strain. The addition of chromosomic DNA from T. thermophilus HB8 to growing cultures of T. thermophilus HB27 delta slpA led to the selection of a new strain, HB27C8, which expressed a functional S-layer composed of the P100 protein. Conversely, the addition of chromosomic DNA from T. thermophilus HB27 to growing cultures of T. thermophilus HB8 delta slpA allowed the isolation of strain HB8C27, which expressed a functional S-layer composed of the P95 protein. The driving force which selected the transference of the S-layer genes in these experiments was the difference in growth rates, one of the main factors leading to selection in natural environments. PMID:7559330

  19. Extensive Intra-Kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfer Converging on a Fungal Fructose Transporter Gene

    PubMed Central

    Coelho, Marco A.; Gonçalves, Carla; Sampaio, José Paulo; Gonçalves, Paula

    2013-01-01

    Comparative genomics revealed in the last decade a scenario of rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among prokaryotes, but for fungi a clearly dominant pattern of vertical inheritance still stands, punctuated however by an increasing number of exceptions. In the present work, we studied the phylogenetic distribution and pattern of inheritance of a fungal gene encoding a fructose transporter (FSY1) with unique substrate selectivity. 109 FSY1 homologues were identified in two sub-phyla of the Ascomycota, in a survey that included 241 available fungal genomes. At least 10 independent inter-species instances of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) involving FSY1 were identified, supported by strong phylogenetic evidence and synteny analyses. The acquisition of FSY1 through HGT was sometimes suggestive of xenolog gene displacement, but several cases of pseudoparalogy were also uncovered. Moreover, evidence was found for successive HGT events, possibly including those responsible for transmission of the gene among yeast lineages. These occurrences do not seem to be driven by functional diversification of the Fsy1 proteins because Fsy1 homologues from widely distant lineages, including at least one acquired by HGT, appear to have similar biochemical properties. In summary, retracing the evolutionary path of the FSY1 gene brought to light an unparalleled number of independent HGT events involving a single fungal gene. We propose that the turbulent evolutionary history of the gene may be linked to the unique biochemical properties of the encoded transporter, whose predictable effect on fitness may be highly variable. In general, our results support the most recent views suggesting that inter-species HGT may have contributed much more substantially to shape fungal genomes than heretofore assumed. PMID:23818872

  20. Horizontally transferred genes in the genome of Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In recent years, as the development of next-generation sequencing technology, a growing number of genes have been reported as being horizontally transferred from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, most of them involving arthropods. As a member of the phylum Arthropoda, the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei has to adapt to the complex water environments with various symbiotic or parasitic microorganisms, which provide a platform for horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Results In this study, we analyzed the genome-wide HGT events in L. vannamei. Through homology search and phylogenetic analysis, followed by experimental PCR confirmation, 14 genes with HGT event were identified: 12 of them were transferred from bacteria and two from fungi. Structure analysis of these genes showed that the introns of the two fungi-originated genes were substituted by shrimp DNA fragment, two genes transferred from bacteria had shrimp specific introns inserted in them. Furthermore, around other three bacteria-originated genes, there were three large DNA segments inserted into the shrimp genome. One segment was a transposon that fully transferred, and the other two segments contained only coding regions of bacteria. Functional prediction of these 14 genes showed that 6 of them might be related to energy metabolism, and 4 others related to defense of the organism. Conclusions HGT events from bacteria or fungi were happened in the genome of L. vannamei, and these horizontally transferred genes can be transcribed in shrimp. This is the first time to report the existence of horizontally transferred genes in shrimp. Importantly, most of these genes are exposed to a negative selection pressure and appeared to be functional. PMID:23914989

  1. Horizontal gene transfer of a Chlamydial tRNA-guanine transglycosylase gene to eukaryotic microbes.

    PubMed

    Manna, Sam; Harman, Ashley

    2016-01-01

    tRNA-guanine transglycosylases are found in all domains of life and mediate the base exchange of guanine with queuine in the anticodon loop of tRNAs. They can also regulate virulence in bacteria such as Shigella flexneri, which has prompted the development of drugs that inhibit the function of these enzymes. Here we report a group of tRNA-guanine transglycosylases in eukaryotic microbes (algae and protozoa) which are more similar to their bacterial counterparts than previously characterized eukaryotic tRNA-guanine transglycosylases. We provide evidence demonstrating that the genes encoding these enzymes were acquired by these eukaryotic lineages via horizontal gene transfer from the Chlamydiae group of bacteria. Given that the S. flexneri tRNA-guanine transglycosylase can be targeted by drugs, we propose that the bacterial-like tRNA-guanine transglycosylases could potentially be targeted in a similar fashion in pathogenic amoebae that possess these enzymes such as Acanthamoeba castellanii. This work also presents ancient prokaryote-to-eukaryote horizontal gene transfer events as an untapped resource of potential drug target identification in pathogenic eukaryotes. PMID:26435002

  2. Amoebozoa possess lineage-specific globin gene repertoires gained by individual horizontal gene transfers.

    PubMed

    Dröge, Jasmin; Buczek, Dorota; Suzuki, Yutaka; Makałowski, Wojciech

    2014-01-01

    The Amoebozoa represent a clade of unicellular amoeboid organisms that display a wide variety of lifestyles, including free-living and parasitic species. For example, the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has the ability to aggregate into a multicellular fruiting body upon starvation, while the pathogenic amoeba Entamoeba histolytica is a parasite of humans. Globins are small heme proteins that are present in almost all extant organisms. Although several genomes of amoebozoan species have been sequenced, little is known about the phyletic distribution of globin genes within this phylum. Only two flavohemoglobins (FHbs) of D. discoideum have been reported and characterized previously while the genomes of Entamoeba species are apparently devoid of globin genes. We investigated eleven amoebozoan species for the presence of globin genes by genomic and phylogenetic in silico analyses. Additional FHb genes were identified in the genomes of four social amoebas and the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum. Moreover, a single-domain globin (SDFgb) of Hartmannella vermiformis, as well as two truncated hemoglobins (trHbs) of Acanthamoeba castellanii were identified. Phylogenetic evidence suggests that these globin genes were independently acquired via horizontal gene transfer from some ancestral bacteria. Furthermore, the phylogenetic tree of amoebozoan FHbs indicates that they do not share a common ancestry and that a transfer of FHbs from bacteria to amoeba occurred multiple times. PMID:25013378

  3. Applying horizontal gene transfer phenomena to enhance non-viral gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Elmer, Jacob J.; Christensen, Matthew D.; Rege, Kaushal

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is widespread amongst prokaryotes, but eukaryotes tend to be far less promiscuous with their genetic information. However, several examples of HGT from pathogens into eukaryotic cells have been discovered and mimicked to improve non-viral gene delivery techniques. For example, several viral proteins and DNA sequences have been used to significantly increase cytoplasmic and nuclear gene delivery. Plant genetic engineering is routinely performed with the pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens and similar pathogens (e.g. Bartonella henselae) may also be able to transform human cells. Intracellular parasites like Trypanosoma cruzi may also provide new insights into overcoming cellular barriers to gene delivery. Finally, intercellular nucleic acid transfer between host cells will also be briefly discussed. This article will review the unique characteristics of several different viruses and microbes and discuss how their traits have been successfully applied to improve non-viral gene delivery techniques. Consequently, pathogenic traits that originally caused diseases may eventually be used to treat many genetic diseases. PMID:23994344

  4. Complexity of genetic sequences modified by horizontal gene transfer and degraded-DNA uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremberger, George; Dehipawala, S.; Nguyen, A.; Cheung, E.; Sullivan, R.; Holden, T.; Lieberman, D.; Cheung, T.

    2015-09-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has been a major vehicle for efficient transfer of genetic materials among living species and could be one of the sources for noncoding DNA incorporation into a genome. Our previous study of lnc- RNA sequence complexity in terms of fractal dimension and information entropy shows a tight regulation among the studied genes in numerous diseases. The role of sequence complexity in horizontal transferred genes was investigated with Mealybug in symbiotic relation with a 139K genome microbe and Deinococcus radiodurans as examples. The fractal dimension and entropy showed correlation R-sq of 0.82 (N = 6) for the studied Deinococcus radiodurans sequences. For comparison the Deinococcus radiodurans oxidative stress tolerant catalase and superoxide dismutase genes under extracellular dGMP growth condition showed R-sq ~ 0.42 (N = 6); and the studied arsenate reductase horizontal transferred genes for toxicity survival in several microorganisms showed no correlation. Simulation results showed that R-sq < 0.4 would be improbable at less than one percent chance, suggestive of additional selection pressure when compared to the R-sq ~ 0.29 (N = 21) in the studied transferred genes in Mealybug. The mild correlation of R-sq ~ 0.5 for fractal dimension versus transcription level in the studied Deinococcus radiodurans sequences upon extracellular dGMP growth condition would suggest that lower fractal dimension with less electron density fluctuation favors higher transcription level.

  5. Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of transcriptionalregulation in Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Dehal, Paramvir S.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2007-12-20

    Background: Most bacterial genes were acquired by horizontalgene transfer from other bacteria instead of being inherited bycontinuous vertical descent from an ancient ancestor}. To understand howthe regulation of these {acquired} genes evolved, we examined theevolutionary histories of transcription factors and of regulatoryinteractions from the model bacterium Escherichia coli K12. Results:Although most transcription factors have paralogs, these usually arose byhorizontal gene transfer rather than by duplication within the E. colilineage, as previously believed. In general, most neighbor regulators --regulators that are adjacent to genes that they regulate -- were acquiredby horizontal gene transfer, while most global regulators evolvedvertically within the gamma-Proteobacteria. Neighbor regulators wereoften acquired together with the adjacent operon that they regulate, sothe proximity might be maintained by repeated transfers (like "selfishoperons"). Many of the as-yet-uncharacterized (putative) regulators havealso been acquired together with adjacent genes, so we predict that theseare neighbor regulators as well. When we analyzed the histories ofregulatory interactions, we found that the evolution of regulation byduplication was rare, and surprisingly, many of the regulatoryinteractions that are shared between paralogs result from convergentevolution. Another surprise was that horizontally transferred genes aremore likely than other genes to be regulated by multiple regulators, andmost of this complex regulation probably evolved after the transfer.Conclusions: Our results highlight the rapid evolution of niche-specificgene regulation in bacteria.

  6. Horizontal gene transfer and gene dosage drives adaptation to wood colonization in a tree pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Dhillon, Braham; Feau, Nicolas; Aerts, Andrea L.; Beauseigle, Stéphanie; Bernier, Louis; Copeland, Alex; Foster, Adam; Gill, Navdeep; Henrissat, Bernard; Herath, Padmini; LaButti, Kurt M.; Levasseur, Anthony; Lindquist, Erika A.; Majoor, Eline; Ohm, Robin A.; Pangilinan, Jasmyn L.; Pribowo, Amadeus; Saddler, John N.; Sakalidis, Monique L.; de Vries, Ronald P.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Tanguay, Philippe; Hamelin, Richard C.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most damaging tree pathogens can attack woody stems, causing lesions (cankers) that may be lethal. To identify the genomic determinants of wood colonization leading to canker formation, we sequenced the genomes of the poplar canker pathogen, Mycosphaerella populorum, and the closely related poplar leaf pathogen, M. populicola. A secondary metabolite cluster unique to M. populorum is fully activated following induction by poplar wood and leaves. In addition, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes, peptidases, and metabolite transporters were more abundant and were up-regulated in M. populorum growing on poplar wood-chip medium compared with M. populicola. The secondary gene cluster and several of the carbohydrate degradation genes have the signature of horizontal transfer from ascomycete fungi associated with wood decay and from prokaryotes. Acquisition and maintenance of the gene battery necessary for growth in woody tissues and gene dosage resulting in gene expression reconfiguration appear to be responsible for the adaptation of M. populorum to infect, colonize, and cause mortality on poplar woody stems. PMID:25733908

  7. The Fusarium graminearum Genome Reveals More Secondary Metabolite Gene Clusters and Hints of Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Philip; Münsterkötter, Martin; Mewes, Hans-Werner; Schmeitzl, Clemens; Varga, Elisabeth; Berthiller, Franz; Adam, Gerhard; Güldener, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Fungal secondary metabolite biosynthesis genes are of major interest due to the pharmacological properties of their products (like mycotoxins and antibiotics). The genome of the plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium graminearum codes for a large number of candidate enzymes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. However, the chemical nature of most enzymatic products of proteins encoded by putative secondary metabolism biosynthetic genes is largely unknown. Based on our analysis we present 67 gene clusters with significant enrichment of predicted secondary metabolism related enzymatic functions. 20 gene clusters with unknown metabolites exhibit strong gene expression correlation in planta and presumably play a role in virulence. Furthermore, the identification of conserved and over-represented putative transcription factor binding sites serves as additional evidence for cluster co-regulation. Orthologous cluster search provided insight into the evolution of secondary metabolism clusters. Some clusters are characteristic for the Fusarium phylum while others show evidence of horizontal gene transfer as orthologs can be found in representatives of the Botrytis or Cochliobolus lineage. The presented candidate clusters provide valuable targets for experimental examination. PMID:25333987

  8. Horizontal gene transfer and gene dosage drives adaptation to wood colonization in a tree pathogen.

    PubMed

    Dhillon, Braham; Feau, Nicolas; Aerts, Andrea L; Beauseigle, Stéphanie; Bernier, Louis; Copeland, Alex; Foster, Adam; Gill, Navdeep; Henrissat, Bernard; Herath, Padmini; LaButti, Kurt M; Levasseur, Anthony; Lindquist, Erika A; Majoor, Eline; Ohm, Robin A; Pangilinan, Jasmyn L; Pribowo, Amadeus; Saddler, John N; Sakalidis, Monique L; de Vries, Ronald P; Grigoriev, Igor V; Goodwin, Stephen B; Tanguay, Philippe; Hamelin, Richard C

    2015-03-17

    Some of the most damaging tree pathogens can attack woody stems, causing lesions (cankers) that may be lethal. To identify the genomic determinants of wood colonization leading to canker formation, we sequenced the genomes of the poplar canker pathogen, Mycosphaerella populorum, and the closely related poplar leaf pathogen, M. populicola. A secondary metabolite cluster unique to M. populorum is fully activated following induction by poplar wood and leaves. In addition, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes, peptidases, and metabolite transporters were more abundant and were up-regulated in M. populorum growing on poplar wood-chip medium compared with M. populicola. The secondary gene cluster and several of the carbohydrate degradation genes have the signature of horizontal transfer from ascomycete fungi associated with wood decay and from prokaryotes. Acquisition and maintenance of the gene battery necessary for growth in woody tissues and gene dosage resulting in gene expression reconfiguration appear to be responsible for the adaptation of M. populorum to infect, colonize, and cause mortality on poplar woody stems. PMID:25733908

  9. Horizontal gene transfer of an entire metabolic pathway between a eukaryotic alga and its DNA virus.

    PubMed

    Monier, Adam; Pagarete, António; de Vargas, Colomban; Allen, Michael J; Read, Betsy; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Ogata, Hiroyuki

    2009-08-01

    Interactions between viruses and phytoplankton, the main primary producers in the oceans, affect global biogeochemical cycles and climate. Recent studies are increasingly revealing possible cases of gene transfers between cyanobacteria and phages, which might have played significant roles in the evolution of cyanobacteria/phage systems. However, little has been documented about the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotic phytoplankton/virus systems. Here we report phylogenetic evidence for the transfer of seven genes involved in the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway between the cosmopolitan eukaryotic microalga Emiliania huxleyi and its large DNA virus EhV. PCR assays indicate that these genes are prevalent in E. huxleyi and EhV strains isolated from different geographic locations. Patterns of protein and gene sequence conservation support that these genes are functional in both E. huxleyi and EhV. This is the first clear case of horizontal gene transfer of multiple functionally linked enzymes in a eukaryotic phytoplankton-virus system. We examine arguments for the possible direction of the gene transfer. The virus-to-host direction suggests the existence of ancient viruses that controlled the complex metabolic pathway in order to infect primitive eukaryotic cells. In contrast, the host-to-virus direction suggests that the serial acquisition of genes involved in the same metabolic pathway might have been a strategy for the ancestor of EhVs to stay ahead of their closest relatives in the great evolutionary race for survival. PMID:19451591

  10. Horizontal gene transfer of an entire metabolic pathway between a eukaryotic alga and its DNA virus

    PubMed Central

    Monier, Adam; Pagarete, António; de Vargas, Colomban; Allen, Michael J.; Read, Betsy; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Ogata, Hiroyuki

    2009-01-01

    Interactions between viruses and phytoplankton, the main primary producers in the oceans, affect global biogeochemical cycles and climate. Recent studies are increasingly revealing possible cases of gene transfers between cyanobacteria and phages, which might have played significant roles in the evolution of cyanobacteria/phage systems. However, little has been documented about the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotic phytoplankton/virus systems. Here we report phylogenetic evidence for the transfer of seven genes involved in the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway between the cosmopolitan eukaryotic microalga Emiliania huxleyi and its large DNA virus EhV. PCR assays indicate that these genes are prevalent in E. huxleyi and EhV strains isolated from different geographic locations. Patterns of protein and gene sequence conservation support that these genes are functional in both E. huxleyi and EhV. This is the first clear case of horizontal gene transfer of multiple functionally linked enzymes in a eukaryotic phytoplankton–virus system. We examine arguments for the possible direction of the gene transfer. The virus-to-host direction suggests the existence of ancient viruses that controlled the complex metabolic pathway in order to infect primitive eukaryotic cells. In contrast, the host-to-virus direction suggests that the serial acquisition of genes involved in the same metabolic pathway might have been a strategy for the ancestor of EhVs to stay ahead of their closest relatives in the great evolutionary race for survival. PMID:19451591

  11. Multiple Inter-Kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers in the Evolution of the Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxylase Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wen; Su, Bing

    2012-01-01

    Pepcase is a gene encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase that exists in bacteria, archaea and plants,playing an important role in plant metabolism and development. Most plants have two or more pepcase genes belonging to two gene sub-families, while only one gene exists in other organisms. Previous research categorized one plant pepcase gene as plant-type pepcase (PTPC) while the other as bacteria-type pepcase (BTPC) because of its similarity with the pepcase gene found in bacteria. Phylogenetic reconstruction showed that PTPC is the ancestral lineage of plant pepcase, and that all bacteria, protistpepcase and BTPC in plants are derived from a lineage of pepcase closely related with PTPC in algae. However, their phylogeny contradicts the species tree and traditional chronology of organism evolution. Because the diversification of bacteria occurred much earlier than the origin of plants, presumably all bacterialpepcase derived from the ancestral PTPC of algal plants after divergingfrom the ancestor of vascular plant PTPC. To solve this contradiction, we reconstructed the phylogeny of pepcase gene family. Our result showed that both PTPC and BTPC are derived from an ancestral lineage of gamma-proteobacteriapepcases, possibly via an ancient inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria to the eukaryotic common ancestor of plants, protists and cellular slime mold. Our phylogenetic analysis also found 48other pepcase genes originated from inter-kingdom HGTs. These results imply that inter-kingdom HGTs played important roles in the evolution of the pepcase gene family and furthermore that HGTsare a more frequent evolutionary event than previouslythought. PMID:23251445

  12. Multiple inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfers in the evolution of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase gene family.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yingmei; Cai, Jing; Wang, Wen; Su, Bing

    2012-01-01

    Pepcase is a gene encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase that exists in bacteria, archaea and plants,playing an important role in plant metabolism and development. Most plants have two or more pepcase genes belonging to two gene sub-families, while only one gene exists in other organisms. Previous research categorized one plant pepcase gene as plant-type pepcase (PTPC) while the other as bacteria-type pepcase (BTPC) because of its similarity with the pepcase gene found in bacteria. Phylogenetic reconstruction showed that PTPC is the ancestral lineage of plant pepcase, and that all bacteria, protistpepcase and BTPC in plants are derived from a lineage of pepcase closely related with PTPC in algae. However, their phylogeny contradicts the species tree and traditional chronology of organism evolution. Because the diversification of bacteria occurred much earlier than the origin of plants, presumably all bacterialpepcase derived from the ancestral PTPC of algal plants after divergingfrom the ancestor of vascular plant PTPC. To solve this contradiction, we reconstructed the phylogeny of pepcase gene family. Our result showed that both PTPC and BTPC are derived from an ancestral lineage of gamma-proteobacteriapepcases, possibly via an ancient inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria to the eukaryotic common ancestor of plants, protists and cellular slime mold. Our phylogenetic analysis also found 48other pepcase genes originated from inter-kingdom HGTs. These results imply that inter-kingdom HGTs played important roles in the evolution of the pepcase gene family and furthermore that HGTsare a more frequent evolutionary event than previouslythought. PMID:23251445

  13. Nanoalumina promotes the horizontal transfer of multiresistance genes mediated by plasmids across genera

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Zhigang; Yu, Yunmei; Chen, Zhaoli; Jin, Min; Yang, Dong; Zhao, Zuguo; Wang, Jingfeng; Shen, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xinwei; Qian, Di; Huang, Aihua; Zhang, Buchang; Li, Jun-Wen

    2012-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide public health concern. Conjugative transfer between closely related strains or species of bacteria is an important method for the horizontal transfer of multidrug-resistance genes. The extent to which nanomaterials are able to cause an increase in antibiotic resistance by the regulation of the conjugative transfer of antibiotic-resistance genes in bacteria, especially across genera, is still unknown. Here we show that nanomaterials in water can significantly promote the horizontal conjugative transfer of multidrug-resistance genes mediated by the RP4, RK2, and pCF10 plasmids. Nanoalumina can promote the conjugative transfer of the RP4 plasmid from Escherichia coli to Salmonella spp. by up to 200-fold compared with untreated cells. We also explored the mechanisms behind this phenomenon and demonstrate that nanoalumina is able to induce oxidative stress, damage bacterial cell membranes, enhance the expression of mating pair formation genes and DNA transfer and replication genes, and depress the expression of global regulatory genes that regulate the conjugative transfer of RP4. These findings are important in assessing the risk of nanomaterials to the environment, particularly from water and wastewater treatment systems, and in the estimation of the effect of manufacture and use of nanomaterials on the environment. PMID:22411796

  14. Decreasing the effects of horizontal gene transfer on bacterial phylogeny: the Escherichia coli case study.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Páramo, Patricia; Sabbagh, Audrey; Darlu, Pierre; Pradillon, Olivier; Vaury, Christelle; Denamur, Erick; Lecointre, Guillaume

    2004-01-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions of bacterial species from DNA sequences are hampered by the existence of horizontal gene transfer. One possible way to overcome the confounding influence of such movement of genes is to identify and remove sequences which are responsible for significant character incongruence when compared to a reference dataset free of horizontal transfer (e.g., multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, restriction fragment length polymorphism, or random amplified polymorphic DNA) using the incongruence length difference (ILD) test of Farris et al. [Cladistics 10 (1995) 315]. As obtaining this "whole genome dataset" prior to the reconstruction of a phylogeny is clearly troublesome, we have tested alternative approaches allowing the release from such reference dataset, designed for a species with modest level of horizontal gene transfer, i.e., Escherichia coli. Eleven different genes available or sequenced in this work were studied in a set of 30 E. coli reference (ECOR) strains. Either using ILD to test incongruence between each gene against the all remaining (in this case 10) genes in order to remove sequences responsible for significant incongruence, or using just a simultaneous analysis without removals, gave robust phylogenies with slight topological differences. The use of the ILD test remains a suitable method for estimating the level of horizontal gene transfer in bacterial species. Supertrees also had suitable properties to extract the phylogeny of strains, because the way they summarize taxonomic congruence clearly limits the impact of individual gene transfers on the global topology. Furthermore, this work allowed a significant improvement of the accuracy of the phylogeny within E. coli. PMID:15022774

  15. Horizontal Gene Transfer of Pectinases from Bacteria Preceded the Diversification of Stick and Leaf Insects

    PubMed Central

    Shelomi, Matan; Danchin, Etienne G. J.; Heckel, David; Wipfler, Benjamin; Bradler, Sven; Zhou, Xin; Pauchet, Yannick

    2016-01-01

    Genes acquired by horizontal transfer are increasingly being found in animal genomes. Understanding their origin and evolution requires knowledge about the phylogenetic relationships from both source and recipient organisms. We used RNASeq data and respective assembled transcript libraries to trace the evolutionary history of polygalacturonase (pectinase) genes in stick insects (Phasmatodea). By mapping the distribution of pectinase genes on a Polyneoptera phylogeny, we identified the transfer of pectinase genes from known phasmatodean gut microbes into the genome of an early euphasmatodean ancestor that took place between 60 and 100 million years ago. This transfer preceded the rapid diversification of the suborder, enabling symbiont-free pectinase production that would increase the insects’ digestive efficiency and reduce dependence on microbes. Bacteria-to-insect gene transfer was thought to be uncommon, however the increasing availability of large-scale genomic data may change this prevailing notion. PMID:27210832

  16. Horizontal Gene Transfer of Pectinases from Bacteria Preceded the Diversification of Stick and Leaf Insects.

    PubMed

    Shelomi, Matan; Danchin, Etienne G J; Heckel, David; Wipfler, Benjamin; Bradler, Sven; Zhou, Xin; Pauchet, Yannick

    2016-01-01

    Genes acquired by horizontal transfer are increasingly being found in animal genomes. Understanding their origin and evolution requires knowledge about the phylogenetic relationships from both source and recipient organisms. We used RNASeq data and respective assembled transcript libraries to trace the evolutionary history of polygalacturonase (pectinase) genes in stick insects (Phasmatodea). By mapping the distribution of pectinase genes on a Polyneoptera phylogeny, we identified the transfer of pectinase genes from known phasmatodean gut microbes into the genome of an early euphasmatodean ancestor that took place between 60 and 100 million years ago. This transfer preceded the rapid diversification of the suborder, enabling symbiont-free pectinase production that would increase the insects' digestive efficiency and reduce dependence on microbes. Bacteria-to-insect gene transfer was thought to be uncommon, however the increasing availability of large-scale genomic data may change this prevailing notion. PMID:27210832

  17. Collective evolution of cyanobacteria and cyanophages mediated by horizontal gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Hong-Yan; Rogers, Tim; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    We describe a model for how antagonistic predator-prey coevolution can lead to mutualistic adaptation to an environment, as a result of horizontal gene transfer. Our model is a simple description of ecosystems such as marine cyanobacteria and their predator cyanophages, which carry photosynthesis genes. These genes evolve more rapidly in the virosphere than the bacterial pan-genome, and thus the bacterial population could potentially benefit from phage predation. By modeling both the barrier to predation and horizontal gene transfer, we study this balance between individual sacrifice and collective benefits. The outcome is an emergent mutualistic coevolution of improved photosynthesis capability, benefiting both bacteria and phage. This form of multi-level selection can contribute to niche stratification in the cyanobacteria-phage ecosystem. This work is supported in part by a cooperative agreement with NASA, Grant NNA13AA91A/A0018.

  18. A case of horizontal gene transfer from Wolbachia to Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Qing; He, Ji; Yu, Jing; Ye, Yuting; Zhou, Dan; Sun, Yan; Zhang, Donghui; Ma, Lei; Shen, Bo; Zhu, Changliang

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer plays an essential role in evolution and ecological adaptation, yet this phenomenon has remained controversial, particularly where it occurs between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. There are a handful of reported examples of horizontal gene transfer occurring between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in the literature, with most of these documented cases pertaining to invertebrates and endosymbionts. However, the vast majority of these horizontally transferred genes were either eventually excluded or rapidly became nonfunctional in the recipient genome. In this study, we report the discovery of a horizontal gene transfer from the endosymbiont Wolbachia in the C6/36 cell line derived from the mosquito Aedes albopictus. Moreover, we report that this horizontally transferred gene displayed high transcription level. This finding and the results of further experimentation strongly suggest this gene is functional and has been expressed and translated into a protein in the mosquito host cells. PMID:24812591

  19. Horizontal transfer of archaeal genes into the deinococcaceae: detection by molecular and computer-based approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olendzenski, L.; Liu, L.; Zhaxybayeva, O.; Murphey, R.; Shin, D. G.; Gogarten, J. P.

    2000-01-01

    Members of the Deinococcaceae (e.g., Thermus, Meiothermus, Deinococcus) contain A/V-ATPases typically found in Archaea or Eukaryotes which were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Two methods were used to quantify the extent to which archaeal or eukaryotic genes have been acquired by this lineage. Screening of a Meiothermus ruber library with probes made against Thermoplasma acidophilum DNA yielded a number of clones which hybridized more strongly than background. One of these contained the prolyl tRNA synthetase (RS) gene. Phylogenetic analysis shows the M. ruber and D. radiodurans prolyl RS to be more closely related to archaeal and eukaryal forms of this gene than to the typical bacterial type. Using a bioinformatics approach, putative open reading frames (ORFs) from the prerelease version of the D. radiodurans genome were screened for genes more closely related to archaeal or eukaryotic genes. Putative ORFs were searched against representative genomes from each of the three domains using automated BLAST. ORFs showing the highest matches against archaeal and eukaryotic genes were collected and ranked. Among the top-ranked hits were the A/V-ATPase catalytic and noncatalytic subunits and the prolyl RS genes. Using phylogenetic methods, ORFs were analyzed and trees assessed for evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Of the 45 genes examined, 20 showed topologies in which D. radiodurans homologues clearly group with eukaryotic or archaeal homologues, and 17 additional trees were found to show probable evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Compared to the total number of ORFs in the genome, those that can be identified as having been acquired from Archaea or Eukaryotes are relatively few (approximately 1%), suggesting that interdomain transfer is rare.

  20. Diversity, evolution, and horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in soda lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinkart, Holly C.; Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C.

    2007-09-01

    Soap Lake is a hypersaline, alkaline lake in Central Washington State (USA). For the past five years the lake has been the site of an NSF Microbial Observatory project devoted to identifying critical geochemical and microbial characteristics of the monimolimnion sediment and water column, and has demonstrated rich multispecies communities occupy all areas of the lake. Soap Lake and similar soda lakes are subject to repeated transient periods of extreme evaporation characterized by significant repetitive alterations in salinity, pH, and total water volume, yet maintain high genetic and metabolic diversity. It has been argued that this repetitive cycle for salinity, alkalinity, and sulfur concentration has been a major driver for prokaryote evolution and diversity. The rapidity of wet-dry cycling places special demands on genome evolution, requirements that are beyond the relatively conservative eukaryotic evolutionary strategy of serial alteration of existing gene sequences in a relatively stable genome. Although HGT is most likely responsible for adding a significant amount of noise to the genetic record, analysis of HGT activity can also provide us with a much-needed probe for exploration of prokaryotic genome evolution and the origin of diversity. Packaging of genetic information within the protective protein capsid of a bacteriophage would seem preferable to exposing naked DNA to the highly alkaline conditions in the lake. In this study, we present preliminary data demonstrating the presence of a diverse group of phage integrases in Soap Lake. Integrase is the viral enzyme responsible for the insertion of phage DNA into the bacterial host's chromosome. The presence of the integrase sequence in bacterial chromosomes is evidence of lysogeny, and the diversity of integrase sequences reported here suggests a wide variety of temperate phage exist in this system, and are especially active in transition zones.

  1. Horizontal Gene Transfers from Bacteria to Entamoeba Complex: A Strategy for Dating Events along Species Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Miguel; Ximenez, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has proved to be relevant in eukaryotic evolution, as it has been found more often than expected and related to adaptation to certain niches. A relatively large list of laterally transferred genes has been proposed and evaluated for the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. The goals of this work were to elucidate the importance of lateral gene transfer along the evolutionary history of some members of the genus Entamoeba, through identifying donor groups and estimating the divergence time of some of these events. In order to estimate the divergence time of some of the horizontal gene transfer events, the dating of some Entamoeba species was necessary, following an indirect dating strategy based on the fossil record of plausible hosts. The divergence between E. histolytica and E. nuttallii probably occurred 5.93 million years ago (Mya); this lineage diverged from E. dispar 9.97 Mya, while the ancestor of the latter separated from E. invadens 68.18 Mya. We estimated times for 22 transferences; the most recent occurred 31.45 Mya and the oldest 253.59 Mya. Indeed, the acquisition of genes through lateral transfer may have triggered a period of adaptive radiation, thus playing a major role in the evolution of the Entamoeba genus. PMID:27239333

  2. Horizontal Gene Transfers from Bacteria to Entamoeba Complex: A Strategy for Dating Events along Species Divergence.

    PubMed

    Romero, Miguel; Cerritos, R; Ximenez, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has proved to be relevant in eukaryotic evolution, as it has been found more often than expected and related to adaptation to certain niches. A relatively large list of laterally transferred genes has been proposed and evaluated for the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. The goals of this work were to elucidate the importance of lateral gene transfer along the evolutionary history of some members of the genus Entamoeba, through identifying donor groups and estimating the divergence time of some of these events. In order to estimate the divergence time of some of the horizontal gene transfer events, the dating of some Entamoeba species was necessary, following an indirect dating strategy based on the fossil record of plausible hosts. The divergence between E. histolytica and E. nuttallii probably occurred 5.93 million years ago (Mya); this lineage diverged from E. dispar 9.97 Mya, while the ancestor of the latter separated from E. invadens 68.18 Mya. We estimated times for 22 transferences; the most recent occurred 31.45 Mya and the oldest 253.59 Mya. Indeed, the acquisition of genes through lateral transfer may have triggered a period of adaptive radiation, thus playing a major role in the evolution of the Entamoeba genus. PMID:27239333

  3. Enhanced Horizontal Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Freshwater Microcosms Induced by an Ionic Liquid

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing; Mao, Daqing; Mu, Quanhua; Luo, Yi

    2015-01-01

    The spread and propagation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) is a worldwide public health concern. Ionic liquids (ILs), considered as “environmentally friendly” replacements for industrial organic solvents, have been widely applied in modern industry. However, few data have been collected regarding the potential ecological and environmental risks of ILs, which are important for preparing for their potential discharge into the environment. In this paper, the IL 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([BMIm][PF6]) (0.001-5.0 g/L) was tested for its effects on facilitating ARGs horizontal transfer mediated by plasmid RP4 in freshwater microcosms. In the horizontal transfer microcosms, the transfer frequency of plasmid RP4 was significantly enhanced (60-fold higher than untreated groups) by the IL [BMIm][PF6] (1.0 g/L). Meanwhile, two strains of opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. were isolated among the transconjugants, illustrating plasmid RP4 mediated horizontal transfer of ARGs occurred in pathogen. This could increase the risk of ARGs dissemination to human pathogens and pose great threat to public health. The cause that [BMIm[PF6] enhanced the transfer frequency of plasmid RP4 was proposed by suppressed cell membrane barrier and enhanced cell membrane permeability, which was evidenced by flow cytometry (FCM). This is the first report that some ILs facilitate horizontal transfer of plasmid RP4 which is widely distributed in the environment and thus add the adverse effects of the environmental risk of ILs. PMID:25951456

  4. Multiple Phenotypic Changes Associated with Large-Scale Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Dougherty, Kevin; Smith, Brian A.; Moore, Autumn F.; Maitland, Shannon; Fanger, Chris; Murillo, Rachel; Baltrus, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer often leads to phenotypic changes within recipient organisms independent of any immediate evolutionary benefits. While secondary phenotypic effects of horizontal transfer (i.e., changes in growth rates) have been demonstrated and studied across a variety of systems using relatively small plasmids and phage, little is known about the magnitude or number of such costs after the transfer of larger regions. Here we describe numerous phenotypic changes that occur after a large-scale horizontal transfer event (∼1 Mb megaplasmid) within Pseudomonas stutzeri including sensitization to various stresses as well as changes in bacterial behavior. These results highlight the power of horizontal transfer to shift pleiotropic relationships and cellular networks within bacterial genomes. They also provide an important context for how secondary effects of transfer can bias evolutionary trajectories and interactions between species. Lastly, these results and system provide a foundation to investigate evolutionary consequences in real time as newly acquired regions are ameliorated and integrated into new genomic contexts. PMID:25048697

  5. Two Horizontally Transferred Xenobiotic Resistance Gene Clusters Associated with Detoxification of Benzoxazolinones by Fusarium Species

    PubMed Central

    Glenn, Anthony E.; Davis, C. Britton; Gao, Minglu; Gold, Scott E.; Mitchell, Trevor R.; Proctor, Robert H.; Stewart, Jane E.; Snook, Maurice E.

    2016-01-01

    Microbes encounter a broad spectrum of antimicrobial compounds in their environments and often possess metabolic strategies to detoxify such xenobiotics. We have previously shown that Fusarium verticillioides, a fungal pathogen of maize known for its production of fumonisin mycotoxins, possesses two unlinked loci, FDB1 and FDB2, necessary for detoxification of antimicrobial compounds produced by maize, including the γ-lactam 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA). In support of these earlier studies, microarray analysis of F. verticillioides exposed to BOA identified the induction of multiple genes at FDB1 and FDB2, indicating the loci consist of gene clusters. One of the FDB1 cluster genes encoded a protein having domain homology to the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) superfamily. Deletion of this gene (MBL1) rendered F. verticillioides incapable of metabolizing BOA and thus unable to grow on BOA-amended media. Deletion of other FDB1 cluster genes, in particular AMD1 and DLH1, did not affect BOA degradation. Phylogenetic analyses and topology testing of the FDB1 and FDB2 cluster genes suggested two horizontal transfer events among fungi, one being transfer of FDB1 from Fusarium to Colletotrichum, and the second being transfer of the FDB2 cluster from Fusarium to Aspergillus. Together, the results suggest that plant-derived xenobiotics have exerted evolutionary pressure on these fungi, leading to horizontal transfer of genes that enhance fitness or virulence. PMID:26808652

  6. Two Horizontally Transferred Xenobiotic Resistance Gene Clusters Associated with Detoxification of Benzoxazolinones by Fusarium Species.

    PubMed

    Glenn, Anthony E; Davis, C Britton; Gao, Minglu; Gold, Scott E; Mitchell, Trevor R; Proctor, Robert H; Stewart, Jane E; Snook, Maurice E

    2016-01-01

    Microbes encounter a broad spectrum of antimicrobial compounds in their environments and often possess metabolic strategies to detoxify such xenobiotics. We have previously shown that Fusarium verticillioides, a fungal pathogen of maize known for its production of fumonisin mycotoxins, possesses two unlinked loci, FDB1 and FDB2, necessary for detoxification of antimicrobial compounds produced by maize, including the γ-lactam 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA). In support of these earlier studies, microarray analysis of F. verticillioides exposed to BOA identified the induction of multiple genes at FDB1 and FDB2, indicating the loci consist of gene clusters. One of the FDB1 cluster genes encoded a protein having domain homology to the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) superfamily. Deletion of this gene (MBL1) rendered F. verticillioides incapable of metabolizing BOA and thus unable to grow on BOA-amended media. Deletion of other FDB1 cluster genes, in particular AMD1 and DLH1, did not affect BOA degradation. Phylogenetic analyses and topology testing of the FDB1 and FDB2 cluster genes suggested two horizontal transfer events among fungi, one being transfer of FDB1 from Fusarium to Colletotrichum, and the second being transfer of the FDB2 cluster from Fusarium to Aspergillus. Together, the results suggest that plant-derived xenobiotics have exerted evolutionary pressure on these fungi, leading to horizontal transfer of genes that enhance fitness or virulence. PMID:26808652

  7. Parallel Evolution and Horizontal Gene Transfer of the pst Operon in Firmicutes from Oligotrophic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Olmedo, Gabriela; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Martinez-Castilla, Leon; Souza, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    The high affinity phosphate transport system (pst) is crucial for phosphate uptake in oligotrophic environments. Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) has extremely low P levels and its endemic Bacillus are closely related to oligotrophic marine Firmicutes. Thus, we expected the pst operon of CCB to share the same evolutionary history and protein similarity to marine Firmicutes. Orthologs of the pst operon were searched in 55 genomes of Firmicutes and 13 outgroups. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed for the pst operon and 14 concatenated housekeeping genes using maximum likelihood methods. Conserved domains and 3D structures of the phosphate-binding protein (PstS) were also analyzed. The pst operon of Firmicutes shows two highly divergent clades with no correlation to the type of habitat nor a phylogenetic congruence, suggesting horizontal gene transfer. Despite sequence divergence, the PstS protein had a similar 3D structure, which could be due to parallel evolution after horizontal gene transfer events. PMID:21461370

  8. Parallel Evolution and Horizontal Gene Transfer of the pst Operon in Firmicutes from Oligotrophic Environments.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Olmedo, Gabriela; Eguiarte, Luis E; Martinez-Castilla, Leon; Souza, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    The high affinity phosphate transport system (pst) is crucial for phosphate uptake in oligotrophic environments. Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) has extremely low P levels and its endemic Bacillus are closely related to oligotrophic marine Firmicutes. Thus, we expected the pst operon of CCB to share the same evolutionary history and protein similarity to marine Firmicutes. Orthologs of the pst operon were searched in 55 genomes of Firmicutes and 13 outgroups. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed for the pst operon and 14 concatenated housekeeping genes using maximum likelihood methods. Conserved domains and 3D structures of the phosphate-binding protein (PstS) were also analyzed. The pst operon of Firmicutes shows two highly divergent clades with no correlation to the type of habitat nor a phylogenetic congruence, suggesting horizontal gene transfer. Despite sequence divergence, the PstS protein had a similar 3D structure, which could be due to parallel evolution after horizontal gene transfer events. PMID:21461370

  9. Detecting horizontal gene transfer with T-REX and RHOM programs.

    PubMed

    Li, Zuofeng; Wang, Li; Zhong, Yang

    2005-12-01

    As the Human Genome Project and other genome projects experience remarkable success and a flood of biological data is produced by means of high-throughout sequencing techniques, detection of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) becomes a promising field in bioinformatics. This review describes two freeware programs: T-REX for MS Windows and RHOM for Linux. T-REX is a graphical user interface program that offers functions to reconstruct the HGT network among the donor and receptor hosts from the gene and species distance matrices. RHOM is a set of command-line driven programs used to detect HGT in genomes. While T-REX impresses with a user-friendly interface and drawing of the reticulation network, the strength of RHOM is an extensive statistical framework of genome and the graphical display of the estimated sequence position probabilities for the candidate horizontally transferred genes. PMID:16420738

  10. Cross-species gene-family fluctuations reveal the dynamics of horizontal transfers

    PubMed Central

    Grilli, Jacopo; Romano, Mariacristina; Bassetti, Federico; Cosentino Lagomarsino, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Prokaryotes vary their protein repertoire mainly through horizontal transfer and gene loss. To elucidate the links between these processes and the cross-species gene-family statistics, we perform a large-scale data analysis of the cross-species variability of gene-family abundance (the number of members of the family found on a given genome). We find that abundance fluctuations are related to the rate of horizontal transfers. This is rationalized by a minimal theoretical model, which predicts this link. The families that are not captured by the model show abundance profiles that are markedly peaked around a mean value, possibly because of specific abundance selection. Based on these results, we define an abundance variability index that captures a family's evolutionary behavior (and thus some of its relevant functional properties) purely based on its cross-species abundance fluctuations. Analysis and model, combined, show a quantitative link between cross-species family abundance statistics and horizontal transfer dynamics, which can be used to analyze genome ‘flux’. Groups of families with different values of the abundance variability index correspond to genome sub-parts having different plasticity in terms of the level of horizontal exchange allowed by natural selection. PMID:24829449

  11. HGT-Finder: A New Tool for Horizontal Gene Transfer Finding and Application to Aspergillus genomes

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Marcus; Ekstrom, Alex; Li, Xueqiong; Yin, Yanbin

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a fast-track mechanism that allows genetically unrelated organisms to exchange genes for rapid environmental adaptation. We developed a new phyletic distribution-based software, HGT-Finder, which implements a novel bioinformatics algorithm to calculate a horizontal transfer index and a probability value for each query gene. Applying this new tool to the Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus nidulans genomes, we found 273, 542, and 715 transferred genes (HTGs), respectively. HTGs have shorter length, higher guanine-cytosine (GC) content, and relaxed selection pressure. Metabolic process and secondary metabolism functions are significantly enriched in HTGs. Gene clustering analysis showed that 61%, 41% and 74% of HTGs in the three genomes form physically linked gene clusters (HTGCs). Overlapping manually curated, secondary metabolite gene clusters (SMGCs) with HTGCs found that 9 of the 33 A. fumigatus SMGCs and 31 of the 65 A. nidulans SMGCs share genes with HTGCs, and that HTGs are significantly enriched in SMGCs. Our genome-wide analysis thus presented very strong evidence to support the hypothesis that HGT has played a very critical role in the evolution of SMGCs. The program is freely available at http://cys.bios.niu.edu/HGTFinder/HGTFinder.tar.gz. PMID:26473921

  12. Rare Events of Intragenus and Intraspecies Horizontal Transfer of the 16S rRNA Gene

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Ren-Mao; Cai, Lin; Zhang, Wei-Peng; Cao, Hui-Luo; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of operational genes has been widely reported in prokaryotic organisms. However, informational genes such as those involved in transcription and translation processes are very difficult to be horizontally transferred, as described by Woese’s complexity hypothesis. Here, we analyzed all of the completed prokaryotic genome sequences (2,143 genomes) in the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) database, scanned for genomes with high intragenomic heterogeneity of 16S rRNA gene copies, and explored potential HGT events of ribosomal RNA genes based on the phylogeny, genomic organization, and secondary structures of the ribosomal RNA genes. Our results revealed 28 genomes with relatively high intragenomic heterogeneity of multiple 16S rRNA gene copies (lowest pairwise identity <98.0%), and further analysis revealed HGT events and potential donors of the heterogeneous copies (such as HGT from Chlamydia suis to Chlamydia trachomatis) and mutation events of some heterogeneous copies (such as Streptococcus suis JS14). Interestingly, HGT of the 16S rRNA gene only occurred at intragenus or intraspecies levels, which is quite different from the HGT of operational genes. Our results improve our understanding regarding the exchange of informational genes. PMID:26220935

  13. Role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of photosynthetic eukaryotes and their plastids.

    PubMed

    Keeling, Patrick J

    2009-01-01

    Plastids are the organelles derived from a cyanobacterium through endosymbiosis. Unlike mitochondria, plastids are not found in all eukaryotes, but their evolution has an added layer of complexity since plastids have moved between eukaryotic lineages by secondary and tertiary endosymbiotic events. This complex history, together with the genetic integration between plastids and their host, has led to many opportunities for gene flow between phylogenetically distinct lineages. Some intracellular transfers do not lead to a protein functioning in a new environment, but many others do and the protein makeup of many plastids appears to have been influenced by exogenous sources as well. Here, different evolutionary sources and cellular destinations of gene flow that has affected the plastid lineage are reviewed. Most horizontal gene transfer (HGT) affecting the modern plastid has taken place via the host nucleus, in the form of genes for plastid-targeted proteins. The impact of this varies greatly from lineage to lineage, but in some cases such transfers can be as high as one fifth of analyzed genes. More rarely, genes have also been transferred to the plastid genome itself, and plastid genes have also been transferred to other non-plant, non-algal lineages. Overall, the proteome of many plastids has emerged as a mosaic of proteins from many sources, some from within the same cell (e.g., cytosolic genes or genes left over from the replacement of an earlier plastid), some from the plastid of other algal lineages, and some from completely unrelated sources. PMID:19271204

  14. An ancient horizontal gene transfer between mosquito and the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis.

    PubMed

    Woolfit, Megan; Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñaki; McGraw, Elizabeth A; O'Neill, Scott L

    2009-02-01

    The extent and biological relevance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotic evolution remain highly controversial. Recent studies have demonstrated frequent and large-scale HGT from endosymbiotic bacteria to their hosts, but the great majority of these transferred genes rapidly become nonfunctional in the recipient genome. Here, we investigate an ancient HGT between a host metazoan and an endosymbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia pipientis. The transferred gene has so far been found only in mosquitoes and Wolbachia. In mosquitoes, it is a member of a gene family encoding candidate receptors required for malaria sporozoite invasion of the mosquito salivary gland. The gene copy in Wolbachia has substantially diverged in sequence from the mosquito homolog, is evolving under purifying selection, and is expressed, suggesting that this gene is also functional in the bacterial genome. Several lines of evidence indicate that the gene may have been transferred from eukaryotic host to bacterial endosymbiont. Regardless of the direction of transfer, however, these results demonstrate that interdomain HGT may give rise to functional, persistent, and possibly evolutionarily significant new genes. PMID:18988686

  15. Emergence of collective territorial defense in bacterial communities: horizontal gene transfer can stabilize microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Juhász, János; Kertész-Farkas, Attila; Szabó, Dóra; Pongor, Sándor

    2014-01-01

    Multispecies bacterial communities such as the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract can be remarkably stable and resilient even though they consist of cells and species that compete for resources and also produce a large number of antimicrobial agents. Computational modeling suggests that horizontal transfer of resistance genes may greatly contribute to the formation of stable and diverse communities capable of protecting themselves with a battery of antimicrobial agents while preserving a varied metabolic repertoire of the constituent species. In other words horizontal transfer of resistance genes makes a community compatible in terms of exoproducts and capable to maintain a varied and mature metagenome. The same property may allow microbiota to protect a host organism, or if used as a microbial therapy, to purge pathogens and restore a protective environment. PMID:24755769

  16. Horizontal Transfer of a Nitrate Assimilation Gene Cluster and Ecological Transitions in Fungi: A Phylogenetic Study

    PubMed Central

    Slot, Jason C.; Hibbett, David S.

    2007-01-01

    High affinity nitrate assimilation genes in fungi occur in a cluster (fHANT-AC) that can be coordinately regulated. The clustered genes include nrt2, which codes for a high affinity nitrate transporter; euknr, which codes for nitrate reductase; and NAD(P)H-nir, which codes for nitrite reductase. Homologs of genes in the fHANT-AC occur in other eukaryotes and prokaryotes, but they have only been found clustered in the oomycete Phytophthora (heterokonts). We performed independent and concatenated phylogenetic analyses of homologs of all three genes in the fHANT-AC. Phylogenetic analyses limited to fungal sequences suggest that the fHANT-AC has been transferred horizontally from a basidiomycete (mushrooms and smuts) to an ancestor of the ascomycetous mold Trichoderma reesei. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences from diverse eukaryotes and eubacteria, and cluster structure, are consistent with a hypothesis that the fHANT-AC was assembled in a lineage leading to the oomycetes and was subsequently transferred to the Dikarya (Ascomycota+Basidiomycota), which is a derived fungal clade that includes the vast majority of terrestrial fungi. We propose that the acquisition of high affinity nitrate assimilation contributed to the success of Dikarya on land by allowing exploitation of nitrate in aerobic soils, and the subsequent transfer of a complete assimilation cluster improved the fitness of T. reesei in a new niche. Horizontal transmission of this cluster of functionally integrated genes supports the “selfish operon” hypothesis for maintenance of gene clusters. PMID:17971860

  17. Exploration of horizontal gene transfer between transplastomic tobacco and plant-associated bacteria.

    PubMed

    Demanèche, Sandrine; Monier, Jean-Michel; Dugat-Bony, Eric; Simonet, Pascal

    2011-10-01

    The likelihood of gene transfer from transgenic plants to bacteria is dependent on the transgene copy number and on the presence of homologous sequences for recombination. The large number of chloroplast genomes in a plant cell as well as the prokaryotic origin of the transgene may thus significantly increase the likelihood of gene transfer from transplastomic plants to bacteria. In order to assess the probability of such a transfer, bacterial isolates, screened for their ability to colonize decaying tobacco plant tissue and possessing DNA sequence similarity to the chloroplastic genes accD and rbcL flanking the transgene (aadA), were tested for their ability to take up extracellular DNA (broad host-range pBBR1MCS-3-derived plasmid, transplastomic plant DNA and PCR products containing the genes accD-aadA-rbcL) by natural or electrotransformation. The results showed that among the 16 bacterial isolates tested, six were able to accept foreign DNA and acquire the spectinomycin resistance conferred by the aadA gene on plasmid, but none of them managed to integrate transgenic DNA in their chromosome. Our results provide no indication that the theoretical gene transfer-enhancing properties of transplastomic plants cause horizontal gene transfer at rates above those found in other studies with nuclear transgenes. PMID:21564143

  18. Evolution and Horizontal Transfer of dUTPase-Encoding Genes in Viruses and Their Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Baldo, Angela M.; McClure, Marcella A.

    1999-01-01

    dUTPase is a ubiquitous and essential enzyme responsible for regulating cellular levels of dUTP. The dut gene exists as single, tandemly duplicated, and tandemly triplicated copies. Crystallized single-copy dUTPases have been shown to assemble as homotrimers. dUTPase is encoded as an auxiliary gene in a number of virus genomes. The origin of viral dut genes has remained unresolved since their initial discovery. A comprehensive analysis of dUTPase amino acid sequence relationships was performed to explore the evolutionary dynamics of dut in viruses and their hosts. Our data set, comprised of 24 host and 51 viral sequences, includes representative sequences from available eukaryotes, archaea, eubacteria cells, and viruses, including herpesviruses. These amino acid sequences were aligned by using a hidden Markov model approach developed to align divergent data. Known secondary structures from single-copy crystals were mapped onto the aligned duplicate and triplicate sequences. We show how duplicated dUTPases might fold into a monomer, and we hypothesize that triplicated dUTPases also assemble as monomers. Phylogenetic analysis revealed at least five viral dUTPase sequence lineages in well-supported monophyletic clusters with eukaryotic, eubacterial, and archaeal hosts. We have identified all five as strong examples of horizontal transfer as well as additional potential transfer of dut genes among eubacteria, between eubacteria and viruses, and between retroviruses. The evidence for horizontal transfers is particularly interesting since eukaryotic dut genes have introns, while DNA virus dut genes do not. This implies that an intermediary retroid agent facilitated the horizontal transfer process between host mRNA and DNA viruses. PMID:10438861

  19. Horizontal gene transfer and nucleotide compositional anomaly in large DNA viruses

    PubMed Central

    Monier, Adam; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Ogata, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    Background DNA viruses have a wide range of genome sizes (5 kb up to 1.2 Mb, compared to 0.16 Mb to 1.5 Mb for obligate parasitic bacteria) that do not correlate with their virulence or the taxonomic distribution of their hosts. The reasons for such large variation are unclear. According to the traditional view of viruses as gifted "gene pickpockets", large viral genome sizes could originate from numerous gene acquisitions from their hosts. We investigated this hypothesis by studying 67 large DNA viruses with genome sizes larger than 150 kb, including the recently characterized giant mimivirus. Given that horizontally transferred DNA often have anomalous nucleotide compositions differing from the rest of the genome, we conducted a detailed analysis of the inter- and intra-genome compositional properties of these viruses. We then interpreted their compositional heterogeneity in terms of possible causes, including strand asymmetry, gene function/expression, and horizontal transfer. Results We first show that the global nucleotide composition and nucleotide word usage of viral genomes are species-specific and distinct from those of their hosts. Next, we identified compositionally anomalous (cA) genes in viral genomes, using a method based on Bayesian inference. The proportion of cA genes is highly variable across viruses and does not exhibit a significant correlation with genome size. The vast majority of the cA genes were of unknown function, lacking homologs in the databases. For genes with known homologs, we found a substantial enrichment of cA genes in specific functional classes for some of the viruses. No significant association was found between cA genes and compositional strand asymmetry. A possible exogenous origin for a small fraction of the cA genes could be confirmed by phylogenetic reconstruction. Conclusion At odds with the traditional dogma, our results argue against frequent genetic transfers to large DNA viruses from their modern hosts. The large

  20. Horizontal transfer of the msp130 gene supported the evolution of metazoan biomineralization.

    PubMed

    Ettensohn, Charles A

    2014-05-01

    It is widely accepted that biomineralized structures appeared independently in many metazoan clades during the Cambrian. How this occurred, and whether it involved the parallel co-option of a common set of biochemical and developmental pathways (i.e., a shared biomineralization "toolkit"), are questions that remain unanswered. Here, I provide evidence that horizontal gene transfer supported the evolution of biomineralization in some metazoans. I show that Msp130 proteins, first described as proteins expressed selectively by the biomineral-forming primary mesenchyme cells of the sea urchin embryo, have a much wider taxonomic distribution than was previously appreciated. Msp130 proteins are present in several invertebrate deuterostomes and in one protostome clade (molluscs). Surprisingly, closely related proteins are also present in many bacteria and several algae, and I propose that msp130 genes were introduced into metazoan lineages via multiple, independent horizontal gene transfer events. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the introduction of an ancestral msp130 gene occurred in the sea urchin lineage more than 250 million years ago and that msp130 genes underwent independent, parallel duplications in each of the metazoan phyla in which these genes are found. PMID:24735463

  1. Plant expansins in bacteria and fungi: evolution by horizontal gene transfer and independent domain fusion.

    PubMed

    Nikolaidis, Nikolas; Doran, Nicole; Cosgrove, Daniel J

    2014-02-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been described as a common mechanism of transferring genetic material between prokaryotes, whereas genetic transfers from eukaryotes to prokaryotes have been rarely documented. Here we report a rare case of HGT in which plant expansin genes that code for plant cell-wall loosening proteins were transferred from plants to bacteria, fungi, and amoebozoa. In several cases, the species in which the expansin gene was found is either in intimate association with plants or is a known plant pathogen. Our analyses suggest that at least two independent genetic transfers occurred from plants to bacteria and fungi. These events were followed by multiple HGT events within bacteria and fungi. We have also observed that in bacteria expansin genes have been independently fused to DNA fragments that code for an endoglucanase domain or for a carbohydrate binding module, pointing to functional convergence at the molecular level. Furthermore, the functional similarities between microbial expansins and their plant xenologs suggest that these proteins mediate microbial-plant interactions by altering the plant cell wall and therefore may provide adaptive advantages to these species. The evolution of these nonplant expansins represents a unique case in which bacteria and fungi have found innovative and adaptive ways to interact with and infect plants by acquiring genes from their host. This evolutionary paradigm suggests that despite their low frequency such HGT events may have significantly contributed to the evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic species. PMID:24150040

  2. Prokaryotic genes in eukaryotic genome sequences: when to infer horizontal gene transfer and when to suspect an actual microbe.

    PubMed

    Artamonova, Irena I; Lappi, Tanya; Zudina, Liudmila; Mushegian, Arcady R

    2015-07-01

    Assessment of phylogenetic positions of predicted gene and protein sequences is a routine step in any genome project, useful for validating the species' taxonomic position and for evaluating hypotheses about genome evolution and function. Several recent eukaryotic genome projects have reported multiple gene sequences that were much more similar to homologues in bacteria than to any eukaryotic sequence. In the spirit of the times, horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to eukaryotes has been invoked in some of these cases. Here, we show, using comparative sequence analysis, that some of those bacteria-like genes indeed appear likely to have been horizontally transferred from bacteria to eukaryotes. In other cases, however, the evidence strongly indicates that the eukaryotic DNA sequenced in the genome project contains a sample of non-integrated DNA from the actual bacteria, possibly providing a window into the host microbiome. Recent literature suggests also that common reagents, kits and laboratory equipment may be systematically contaminated with bacterial DNA, which appears to be sampled by metagenome projects non-specifically. We review several bioinformatic criteria that help to distinguish putative horizontal gene transfers from the admixture of genes from autonomously replicating bacteria in their hosts' genome databases or from the reagent contamination. PMID:25919787

  3. The influence of horizontal gene transfer on the mean fitness of unicellular populations in static environments.

    PubMed

    Raz, Yoav; Tannenbaum, Emmanuel

    2010-05-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is believed to be a major source of genetic variation, particularly for prokaryotes. It is believed that horizontal gene transfer plays a major role in shaping bacterial genomes and is also believed to be responsible for the relatively rapid dissemination and acquisition of new, adaptive traits across bacterial strains. Despite the importance of horizontal gene transfer as a major source of genetic variation, the bulk of research on theoretical evolutionary dynamics and population genetics has focused on point mutations (sometimes coupled with gene duplication events) as the main engine of genomic change. Here, we seek to specifically model HGT processes in bacterial cells, by developing a mathematical model describing the influence that conjugation-mediated HGT has on the mutation-selection balance in an asexually reproducing population of unicellular, prokaryotic organisms. It is assumed that mutation-selection balance is reached in the presence of a fixed background concentration of antibiotic, to which the population must become resistant to survive. We find that HGT has a nontrivial effect on the mean fitness of the population. However, one of the central results that emerge from our analysis is that, at mutation-selection balance, conjugation-mediated HGT has a slightly deleterious effect on the mean fitness of a population. Therefore, we conclude that HGT does not confer a selection advantage in static environments. Rather, its advantage must lie in its ability to promote faster adaptation in dynamic environments, an interpretation that is consistent with the observation that HGT can be promoted by environmental stresses on a population. PMID:20194966

  4. Horizontal gene transfers and cell fusions in microbiology, immunology and oncology (Review).

    PubMed

    Sinkovics, Joseph G

    2009-09-01

    Evolving young genomes of archaea, prokaryota and unicellular eukaryota were wide open for the acceptance of alien genomic sequences, which they often preserved and vertically transferred to their descendants throughout three billion years of evolution. Established complex large genomes, although seeded with ancestral retroelements, have come to regulate strictly their integrity. However, intruding retroelements, especially the descendents of Ty3/Gypsy, the chromoviruses, continue to find their ways into even the most established genomes. The simian and hominoid-Homo genomes preserved and accommodated a large number of endogenous retroviral genomic segments. These retroelements may mature into exogenous retroviruses, or into functional new genes. Phages and viruses have been instrumental in incorporating and transferring host cell genes. These events profoundly influenced and altered the course of evolution. Horizontal (lateral) gene transfers (HGT) overwhelmed the genomes of the ancient protocells and the evolving unicellular microorganisms, actually leading to their Cambrian explosion. While the rigidly organized genomes of multicellular organisms increasingly resist H/LGT, de-differentiated cells assuming the metabolism of their onto- or phylogenetic ancestors, open up widely to the practice of H/LGT by direct transfer, or to transfers mediated by viruses, or by cell fusions. This activity is intensified in malignantly transformed cells, thus rendering these subjects receptive to therapy with oncolytic viruses and with viral vectors of tumor-suppressive or immunogenic genetic materials. Naturally formed hybrids of dendritic and tumor cells are often tolerogenic, whereas laboratory products of these unisons may be immunogenic in the hosts of origin. As human breast cancer stem cells are induced by a treacherous class of CD8+ T cells to undergo epithelial to mesenchymal (ETM) transition and to yield to malignant transformation by the omnipresent proto

  5. Operon Formation is Driven by Co-Regulation and Not by Horizontal Gene Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Huang, Katherine H.; Arkin, Adam P.; Alm, Eric J.

    2005-04-12

    Although operons are often subject to horizontal gene transfer (HGT), non-HGT genes are particularly likely to be in operons. To resolve this apparent discrepancy and to determine whether HGT is involved in operon formation, we examined the evolutionary history of the genes and operons in Escherichia coli K12. We show that genes that have homologs in distantly related bacteria but not in close relatives of E. coli (indicating HGTi) form new operons at about the same rates as native genes. Furthermore, genes in new operons are no more likely than other genes to have phylogenetic trees that are inconsistent with the species tree. In contrast, essential genes and ubiquitous genes without paralogs (genes believed to undergo HGT rarely) often form new operons. We conclude that HGT is not associated with operon formation, but instead promotes the prevalence of pre-existing operons. To explain operon formation, we propose that new operons reduce the amount of regulatory information required to specify optimal expression patterns. Consistent with this hypothesis, operons have greater amounts of conserved regulatory sequences than do individually transcribed genes.

  6. Horizontal gene transfer events reshape the global landscape of arm race between viruses and homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Dong-Sheng; Wu, Yi-Quan; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, San-Jie; Chen, Shan-Ze

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) drives the evolution of recipient organism particularly if it provides a novel function which enhances the fitness or its adaption to the environment. Virus-host co-evolution is attractive for studying co-evolutionary processes, since viruses strictly replicate inside of the host cells and thus their evolution is inexorably tangled with host biology. HGT, as a mechanism of co-evolution between human and viruses, has been widely documented, however, the roles HGT play during the interaction between human and viruses are still in their infancy. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis on the genes horizontally transferred between viruses and their corresponding human hosts. Our study suggests that the HGT genes in human are predominantly enriched in immune related GO terms while viral HGT genes are tend to be encoded by viruses which promote the invasion of immune system of hosts. Based on our results, it gives us a hint about the evolution trajectory of HGT events. Overall, our study suggests that the HGT between human and viruses are highly relevant to immune interaction and probably reshaped the arm race between hosts and viruses. PMID:27270140

  7. Horizontal gene transfer events reshape the global landscape of arm race between viruses and homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Chen, Dong-Sheng; Wu, Yi-Quan; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, San-Jie; Chen, Shan-Ze

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) drives the evolution of recipient organism particularly if it provides a novel function which enhances the fitness or its adaption to the environment. Virus-host co-evolution is attractive for studying co-evolutionary processes, since viruses strictly replicate inside of the host cells and thus their evolution is inexorably tangled with host biology. HGT, as a mechanism of co-evolution between human and viruses, has been widely documented, however, the roles HGT play during the interaction between human and viruses are still in their infancy. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis on the genes horizontally transferred between viruses and their corresponding human hosts. Our study suggests that the HGT genes in human are predominantly enriched in immune related GO terms while viral HGT genes are tend to be encoded by viruses which promote the invasion of immune system of hosts. Based on our results, it gives us a hint about the evolution trajectory of HGT events. Overall, our study suggests that the HGT between human and viruses are highly relevant to immune interaction and probably reshaped the arm race between hosts and viruses. PMID:27270140

  8. Phylogenomic analysis demonstrates a pattern of rare and ancient horizontal gene transfer between plants and fungi.

    PubMed

    Richards, Thomas A; Soanes, Darren M; Foster, Peter G; Leonard, Guy; Thornton, Christopher R; Talbot, Nicholas J

    2009-07-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) describes the transmission of genetic material across species boundaries and is an important evolutionary phenomenon in the ancestry of many microbes. The role of HGT in plant evolutionary history is, however, largely unexplored. Here, we compare the genomes of six plant species with those of 159 prokaryotic and eukaryotic species and identify 1689 genes that show the highest similarity to corresponding genes from fungi. We constructed a phylogeny for all 1689 genes identified and all homolog groups available from the rice (Oryza sativa) genome (3177 gene families) and used these to define 14 candidate plant-fungi HGT events. Comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of these 14 data sets, using methods that account for site rate heterogeneity, demonstrated support for nine HGT events, demonstrating an infrequent pattern of HGT between plants and fungi. Five HGTs were fungi-to-plant transfers and four were plant-to-fungi HGTs. None of the fungal-to-plant HGTs involved angiosperm recipients. These results alter the current view of organismal barriers to HGT, suggesting that phagotrophy, the consumption of a whole cell by another, is not necessarily a prerequisite for HGT between eukaryotes. Putative functional annotation of the HGT candidate genes suggests that two fungi-to-plant transfers have added phenotypes important for life in a soil environment. Our study suggests that genetic exchange between plants and fungi is exceedingly rare, particularly among the angiosperms, but has occurred during their evolutionary history and added important metabolic traits to plant lineages. PMID:19584142

  9. Horizontal Transfer of Plasmid-Mediated Cephalosporin Resistance Genes in the Intestine of Houseflies (Musca domestica).

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Akira; Usui, Masaru; Okubo, Torahiko; Tamura, Yutaka

    2016-06-01

    Houseflies are a mechanical vector for various types of bacteria, including antimicrobial-resistant bacteria (ARB). If the intestine of houseflies is a suitable site for the transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs), houseflies could also serve as a biological vector for ARB. To clarify whether cephalosporin resistance genes are transferred efficiently in the housefly intestine, we compared with conjugation experiments in vivo (in the intestine) and in vitro by using Escherichia coli with eight combinations of four donor and two recipient strains harboring plasmid-mediated cephalosporin resistance genes and chromosomal-encoded rifampicin resistance genes, respectively. In the in vivo conjugation experiment, houseflies ingested donor strains for 6 hr and then recipient strains for 3 hr, and 24 hr later, the houseflies were surface sterilized and analyzed. In vitro conjugation experiments were conducted using the broth-mating method. In 3/8 combinations, the in vitro transfer frequency (Transconjugants/Donor) was ≥1.3 × 10(-4); the in vivo transfer rates of cephalosporin resistance genes ranged from 2.0 × 10(-4) to 5.7 × 10(-5). Moreover, cephalosporin resistance genes were transferred to other species of enteric bacteria of houseflies such as Achromobacter sp. and Pseudomonas fluorescens. These results suggest that houseflies are not only a mechanical vector for ARB but also a biological vector for the occurrence of new ARB through the horizontal transfer of ARGs in their intestine. PMID:26683492

  10. Bacterial α2-macroglobulins: colonization factors acquired by horizontal gene transfer from the metazoan genome?

    PubMed Central

    Budd, Aidan; Blandin, Stephanie; Levashina, Elena A; Gibson, Toby J

    2004-01-01

    Background Invasive bacteria are known to have captured and adapted eukaryotic host genes. They also readily acquire colonizing genes from other bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. Closely related species such as Helicobacter pylori and Helicobacter hepaticus, which exploit different host tissues, share almost none of their colonization genes. The protease inhibitor α2-macroglobulin provides a major metazoan defense against invasive bacteria, trapping attacking proteases required by parasites for successful invasion. Results Database searches with metazoan α2-macroglobulin sequences revealed homologous sequences in bacterial proteomes. The bacterial α2-macroglobulin phylogenetic distribution is patchy and violates the vertical descent model. Bacterial α2-macroglobulin genes are found in diverse clades, including purple bacteria (proteobacteria), fusobacteria, spirochetes, bacteroidetes, deinococcids, cyanobacteria, planctomycetes and thermotogae. Most bacterial species with bacterial α2-macroglobulin genes exploit higher eukaryotes (multicellular plants and animals) as hosts. Both pathogenically invasive and saprophytically colonizing species possess bacterial α2-macroglobulins, indicating that bacterial α2-macroglobulin is a colonization rather than a virulence factor. Conclusions Metazoan α2-macroglobulins inhibit proteases of pathogens. The bacterial homologs may function in reverse to block host antimicrobial defenses. α2-macroglobulin was probably acquired one or more times from metazoan hosts and has then spread widely through other colonizing bacterial species by more than 10 independent horizontal gene transfers. yfhM-like bacterial α2-macroglobulin genes are often found tightly linked with pbpC, encoding an atypical peptidoglycan transglycosylase, PBP1C, that does not function in vegetative peptidoglycan synthesis. We suggest that YfhM and PBP1C are coupled together as a periplasmic defense and repair system. Bacterial α2-macroglobulins might

  11. Horizontal gene transfer: essentiality and evolvability in prokaryotes, and roles in evolutionary transitions.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    The wide spread of gene exchange and loss in the prokaryotic world has prompted the concept of 'lateral genomics' to the point of an outright denial of the relevance of phylogenetic trees for evolution. However, the pronounced coherence congruence of the topologies of numerous gene trees, particularly those for (nearly) universal genes, translates into the notion of a statistical tree of life (STOL), which reflects a central trend of vertical evolution. The STOL can be employed as a framework for reconstruction of the evolutionary processes in the prokaryotic world. Quantitatively, however, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) dominates microbial evolution, with the rate of gene gain and loss being comparable to the rate of point mutations and much greater than the duplication rate. Theoretical models of evolution suggest that HGT is essential for the survival of microbial populations that otherwise deteriorate due to the Muller's ratchet effect. Apparently, at least some bacteria and archaea evolved dedicated vehicles for gene transfer that evolved from selfish elements such as plasmids and viruses. Recent phylogenomic analyses suggest that episodes of massive HGT were pivotal for the emergence of major groups of organisms such as multiple archaeal phyla as well as eukaryotes. Similar analyses appear to indicate that, in addition to donating hundreds of genes to the emerging eukaryotic lineage, mitochondrial endosymbiosis severely curtailed HGT. These results shed new light on the routes of evolutionary transitions, but caution is due given the inherent uncertainty of deep phylogenies. PMID:27508073

  12. Horizontal gene transfer: essentiality and evolvability in prokaryotes, and roles in evolutionary transitions

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.

    2016-01-01

    The wide spread of gene exchange and loss in the prokaryotic world has prompted the concept of ‘lateral genomics’ to the point of an outright denial of the relevance of phylogenetic trees for evolution. However, the pronounced coherence congruence of the topologies of numerous gene trees, particularly those for (nearly) universal genes, translates into the notion of a statistical tree of life (STOL), which reflects a central trend of vertical evolution. The STOL can be employed as a framework for reconstruction of the evolutionary processes in the prokaryotic world. Quantitatively, however, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) dominates microbial evolution, with the rate of gene gain and loss being comparable to the rate of point mutations and much greater than the duplication rate. Theoretical models of evolution suggest that HGT is essential for the survival of microbial populations that otherwise deteriorate due to the Muller’s ratchet effect. Apparently, at least some bacteria and archaea evolved dedicated vehicles for gene transfer that evolved from selfish elements such as plasmids and viruses. Recent phylogenomic analyses suggest that episodes of massive HGT were pivotal for the emergence of major groups of organisms such as multiple archaeal phyla as well as eukaryotes. Similar analyses appear to indicate that, in addition to donating hundreds of genes to the emerging eukaryotic lineage, mitochondrial endosymbiosis severely curtailed HGT. These results shed new light on the routes of evolutionary transitions, but caution is due given the inherent uncertainty of deep phylogenies. PMID:27508073

  13. Recent Origin of the Methacrylate Redox System in Geobacter sulfurreducens AM-1 through Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Arkhipova, Oksana V.; Meer, Margarita V.; Mikoulinskaia, Galina V.; Zakharova, Marina V.; Galushko, Alexander S.; Kondrashov, Fyodor A.

    2015-01-01

    The origin and evolution of novel biochemical functions remains one of the key questions in molecular evolution. We study recently emerged methacrylate reductase function that is thought to have emerged in the last century and reported in Geobacter sulfurreducens strain AM-1. We report the sequence and study the evolution of the operon coding for the flavin-containing methacrylate reductase (Mrd) and tetraheme cytochrome с (Mcc) in the genome of G. sulfurreducens AM-1. Different types of signal peptides in functionally interlinked proteins Mrd and Mcc suggest a possible complex mechanism of biogenesis for chromoproteids of the methacrylate redox system. The homologs of the Mrd and Mcc sequence found in δ-Proteobacteria and Deferribacteres are also organized into an operon and their phylogenetic distribution suggested that these two genes tend to be horizontally transferred together. Specifically, the mrd and mcc genes from G. sulfurreducens AM-1 are not monophyletic with any of the homologs found in other Geobacter genomes. The acquisition of methacrylate reductase function by G. sulfurreducens AM-1 appears linked to a horizontal gene transfer event. However, the new function of the products of mrd and mcc may have evolved either prior or subsequent to their acquisition by G. sulfurreducens AM-1. PMID:25962149

  14. Evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer from the draft genome of a tardigrade

    PubMed Central

    Boothby, Thomas C.; Tenlen, Jennifer R.; Smith, Frank W.; Wang, Jeremy R.; Patanella, Kiera A.; Osborne Nishimura, Erin; Tintori, Sophia C.; Li, Qing; Jones, Corbin D.; Yandell, Mark; Glasscock, Jarret; Goldstein, Bob

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the transfer of genes between species, has been recognized recently as more pervasive than previously suspected. Here, we report evidence for an unprecedented degree of HGT into an animal genome, based on a draft genome of a tardigrade, Hypsibius dujardini. Tardigrades are microscopic eight-legged animals that are famous for their ability to survive extreme conditions. Genome sequencing, direct confirmation of physical linkage, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that a large fraction of the H. dujardini genome is derived from diverse bacteria as well as plants, fungi, and Archaea. We estimate that approximately one-sixth of tardigrade genes entered by HGT, nearly double the fraction found in the most extreme cases of HGT into animals known to date. Foreign genes have supplemented, expanded, and even replaced some metazoan gene families within the tardigrade genome. Our results demonstrate that an unexpectedly large fraction of an animal genome can be derived from foreign sources. We speculate that animals that can survive extremes may be particularly prone to acquiring foreign genes. PMID:26598659

  15. Evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer from the draft genome of a tardigrade.

    PubMed

    Boothby, Thomas C; Tenlen, Jennifer R; Smith, Frank W; Wang, Jeremy R; Patanella, Kiera A; Osborne Nishimura, Erin; Tintori, Sophia C; Li, Qing; Jones, Corbin D; Yandell, Mark; Messina, David N; Glasscock, Jarret; Goldstein, Bob

    2015-12-29

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the transfer of genes between species, has been recognized recently as more pervasive than previously suspected. Here, we report evidence for an unprecedented degree of HGT into an animal genome, based on a draft genome of a tardigrade, Hypsibius dujardini. Tardigrades are microscopic eight-legged animals that are famous for their ability to survive extreme conditions. Genome sequencing, direct confirmation of physical linkage, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that a large fraction of the H. dujardini genome is derived from diverse bacteria as well as plants, fungi, and Archaea. We estimate that approximately one-sixth of tardigrade genes entered by HGT, nearly double the fraction found in the most extreme cases of HGT into animals known to date. Foreign genes have supplemented, expanded, and even replaced some metazoan gene families within the tardigrade genome. Our results demonstrate that an unexpectedly large fraction of an animal genome can be derived from foreign sources. We speculate that animals that can survive extremes may be particularly prone to acquiring foreign genes. PMID:26598659

  16. Negative Feedback and Transcriptional Overshooting in a Regulatory Network for Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Lopez, Raul; del Campo, Irene; Revilla, Carlos; Cuevas, Ana; de la Cruz, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a major force driving bacterial evolution. Because of their ability to cross inter-species barriers, bacterial plasmids are essential agents for HGT. This ability, however, poses specific requisites on plasmid physiology, in particular the need to overcome a multilevel selection process with opposing demands. We analyzed the transcriptional network of plasmid R388, one of the most promiscuous plasmids in Proteobacteria. Transcriptional analysis by fluorescence expression profiling and quantitative PCR revealed a regulatory network controlled by six transcriptional repressors. The regulatory network relied on strong promoters, which were tightly repressed in negative feedback loops. Computational simulations and theoretical analysis indicated that this architecture would show a transcriptional burst after plasmid conjugation, linking the magnitude of the feedback gain with the intensity of the transcriptional burst. Experimental analysis showed that transcriptional overshooting occurred when the plasmid invaded a new population of susceptible cells. We propose that transcriptional overshooting allows genome rebooting after horizontal gene transfer, and might have an adaptive role in overcoming the opposing demands of multilevel selection. PMID:24586200

  17. A gene horizontally transferred from bacteria protects arthropods from host plant cyanide poisoning

    PubMed Central

    Wybouw, Nicky; Dermauw, Wannes; Tirry, Luc; Stevens, Christian; Grbić, Miodrag; Feyereisen, René; Van Leeuwen, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides are among the most widespread defense chemicals of plants. Upon plant tissue disruption, these glucosides are hydrolyzed to a reactive hydroxynitrile that releases toxic hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Yet many mite and lepidopteran species can thrive on plants defended by cyanogenic glucosides. The nature of the enzyme known to detoxify HCN to β-cyanoalanine in arthropods has remained enigmatic. Here we identify this enzyme by transcriptome analysis and functional expression. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the gene is a member of the cysteine synthase family horizontally transferred from bacteria to phytophagous mites and Lepidoptera. The recombinant mite enzyme had both β-cyanoalanine synthase and cysteine synthase activity but enzyme kinetics showed that cyanide detoxification activity was strongly favored. Our results therefore suggest that an ancient horizontal transfer of a gene originally involved in sulfur amino acid biosynthesis in bacteria was co-opted by herbivorous arthropods to detoxify plant produced cyanide. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02365.001 PMID:24843024

  18. A gene horizontally transferred from bacteria protects arthropods from host plant cyanide poisoning.

    PubMed

    Wybouw, Nicky; Dermauw, Wannes; Tirry, Luc; Stevens, Christian; Grbić, Miodrag; Feyereisen, René; Van Leeuwen, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides are among the most widespread defense chemicals of plants. Upon plant tissue disruption, these glucosides are hydrolyzed to a reactive hydroxynitrile that releases toxic hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Yet many mite and lepidopteran species can thrive on plants defended by cyanogenic glucosides. The nature of the enzyme known to detoxify HCN to β-cyanoalanine in arthropods has remained enigmatic. Here we identify this enzyme by transcriptome analysis and functional expression. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the gene is a member of the cysteine synthase family horizontally transferred from bacteria to phytophagous mites and Lepidoptera. The recombinant mite enzyme had both β-cyanoalanine synthase and cysteine synthase activity but enzyme kinetics showed that cyanide detoxification activity was strongly favored. Our results therefore suggest that an ancient horizontal transfer of a gene originally involved in sulfur amino acid biosynthesis in bacteria was co-opted by herbivorous arthropods to detoxify plant produced cyanide.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02365.001. PMID:24843024

  19. Horizontal Gene Transfer Regulation in Bacteria as a “Spandrel” of DNA Repair Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Fall, Saliou; Mercier, Anne; Bertolla, Franck; Calteau, Alexandra; Gueguen, Laurent; Perrière, Guy; Vogel, Timothy M.; Simonet, Pascal

    2007-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is recognized as the major force for bacterial genome evolution. Yet, numerous questions remain about the transferred genes, their function, quantity and frequency. The extent to which genetic transformation by exogenous DNA has occurred over evolutionary time was initially addressed by an in silico approach using the complete genome sequence of the Ralstonia solanacearum GMI1000 strain. Methods based on phylogenetic reconstruction of prokaryote homologous genes families detected 151 genes (13.3%) of foreign origin in the R. solanacearum genome and tentatively identified their bacterial origin. These putative transfers were analyzed in comparison to experimental transformation tests involving 18 different genomic DNA positions in the genome as sites for homologous or homeologous recombination. Significant transformation frequency differences were observed among these positions tested regardless of the overall genomic divergence of the R. solanacearum strains tested as recipients. The genomic positions containing the putative exogenous DNA were not systematically transformed at the highest frequencies. The two genomic “hot spots”, which contain recA and mutS genes, exhibited transformation frequencies from 2 to more than 4 orders of magnitude higher than positions associated with other genes depending on the recipient strain. These results support the notion that the bacterial cell is equipped with active mechanisms to modulate acquisition of new DNA in different genomic positions. Bio-informatics study correlated recombination “hot-spots” to the presence of Chi-like signature sequences with which recombination might be preferentially initiated. The fundamental role of HGT is certainly not limited to the critical impact that the very rare foreign genes acquired mainly by chance can have on the bacterial adaptation potential. The frequency to which HGT with homologous and homeologous DNA happens in the environment might have led

  20. Evolution of substrate specificity in a recipient's enzyme following horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Noda-García, Lianet; Camacho-Zarco, Aldo R; Medina-Ruíz, Sofía; Gaytán, Paul; Carrillo-Tripp, Mauricio; Fülöp, Vilmos; Barona-Gómez, Francisco

    2013-09-01

    Despite the prominent role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in shaping bacterial metabolism, little is known about the impact of HGT on the evolution of enzyme function. Specifically, what is the influence of a recently acquired gene on the function of an existing gene? For example, certain members of the genus Corynebacterium have horizontally acquired a whole l-tryptophan biosynthetic operon, whereas in certain closely related actinobacteria, for example, Mycobacterium, the trpF gene is missing. In Mycobacterium, the function of the trpF gene is performed by a dual-substrate (βα)8 phosphoribosyl isomerase (priA gene) also involved in l-histidine (hisA gene) biosynthesis. We investigated the effect of a HGT-acquired TrpF enzyme upon PriA's substrate specificity in Corynebacterium through comparative genomics and phylogenetic reconstructions. After comprehensive in vivo and enzyme kinetic analyses of selected PriA homologs, a novel (βα)8 isomerase subfamily with a specialized function in l-histidine biosynthesis, termed subHisA, was confirmed. X-ray crystallography was used to reveal active-site mutations in subHisA important for narrowing of substrate specificity, which when mutated to the naturally occurring amino acid in PriA led to gain of function. Moreover, in silico molecular dynamic analyses demonstrated that the narrowing of substrate specificity of subHisA is concomitant with loss of ancestral protein conformational states. Our results show the importance of HGT in shaping enzyme evolution and metabolism. PMID:23800623

  1. Horizontal Transfer of Tetracycline Resistance Genes in the Subsurface of a Poultry Farm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, Y.; Ward, M.; Hilpert, M.

    2008-12-01

    Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are considered to be important man-made reservoirs of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes. At a poultry farm, we, together with Mr.~James Doolittle from USDA, measured the apparent subsurface electrical conductivity (ECa) using a EM38 meter. The resulting ECaR) associated with the poultry farm due to the fact that tetracycline (Tc) is one of the most frequently used antibiotics in food animal production and therefore is probably used at this farm. Soil and aquifer samples were taken from the farm. TcR bacteria were detected, with higher concentrations in the top layer of soil than in the aquifer. TcR bacteria were then enriched from a soil sample, and two classes of TcR genes were detected: tet(M) genes encoding ribosomal protection proteins and tet(L) genes encoding tet efflux pumps. Sequences of the PCR products were compared to known tet(M) and tet(L) genes in GenBank using BLASTN. Phylogenetic trees were also built based on the sequence information. The tet(M) genes found in our soil sample were highly similar to those located on transposons. In a soil microcosm experiment, we used the aforementioned soil sample as incubation medium as well as genetic donor (TcR soil bacteria), and a green fluorescent strain of E. coli as a model genetic recipient to study horizontal transfer of TcR genes from soil bacteria to naïve bacteria. Concentrations of inoculated E. coli were continuously monitored for 15 days, TcR E. coli isolated, and colony PCR performed. The tet(M) genes were found to be transferred to naïve E. coli. The highest horizontal transfer ratio, 0.62 transconjugant per recipient, was observed when Tc was supplemented to a soil microcosm at a concentration of 140 μg/kg soil. Modeling is also ongoing to obtain a better understanding of this complex phenomenon.

  2. Novel recA-Independent Horizontal Gene Transfer in Escherichia coli K-12

    PubMed Central

    Kingston, Anthony W.; Raleigh, Elisabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    In bacteria, mechanisms that incorporate DNA into a genome without strand-transfer proteins such as RecA play a major role in generating novelty by horizontal gene transfer. We describe a new illegitimate recombination event in Escherichia coli K-12: RecA-independent homologous replacements, with very large (megabase-length) donor patches replacing recipient DNA. A previously uncharacterized gene (yjiP) increases the frequency of RecA-independent replacement recombination. To show this, we used conjugal DNA transfer, combining a classical conjugation donor, HfrH, with modern genome engineering methods and whole genome sequencing analysis to enable interrogation of genetic dependence of integration mechanisms and characterization of recombination products. As in classical experiments, genomic DNA transfer begins at a unique position in the donor, entering the recipient via conjugation; antibiotic resistance markers are then used to select recombinant progeny. Different configurations of this system were used to compare known mechanisms for stable DNA incorporation, including homologous recombination, F’-plasmid formation, and genome duplication. A genome island of interest known as the immigration control region was specifically replaced in a minority of recombinants, at a frequency of 3 X 10-12 CFU/recipient per hour. PMID:26162088

  3. Novel recA-Independent Horizontal Gene Transfer in Escherichia coli K-12.

    PubMed

    Kingston, Anthony W; Roussel-Rossin, Chloé; Dupont, Claire; Raleigh, Elisabeth A

    2015-01-01

    In bacteria, mechanisms that incorporate DNA into a genome without strand-transfer proteins such as RecA play a major role in generating novelty by horizontal gene transfer. We describe a new illegitimate recombination event in Escherichia coli K-12: RecA-independent homologous replacements, with very large (megabase-length) donor patches replacing recipient DNA. A previously uncharacterized gene (yjiP) increases the frequency of RecA-independent replacement recombination. To show this, we used conjugal DNA transfer, combining a classical conjugation donor, HfrH, with modern genome engineering methods and whole genome sequencing analysis to enable interrogation of genetic dependence of integration mechanisms and characterization of recombination products. As in classical experiments, genomic DNA transfer begins at a unique position in the donor, entering the recipient via conjugation; antibiotic resistance markers are then used to select recombinant progeny. Different configurations of this system were used to compare known mechanisms for stable DNA incorporation, including homologous recombination, F'-plasmid formation, and genome duplication. A genome island of interest known as the immigration control region was specifically replaced in a minority of recombinants, at a frequency of 3 X 10(-12) CFU/recipient per hour. PMID:26162088

  4. Bacteriophages Isolated from Chicken Meat and the Horizontal Transfer of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes

    PubMed Central

    Shousha, Amira; Awaiwanont, Nattakarn; Sofka, Dmitrij; Smulders, Frans J. M.; Paulsen, Peter; Szostak, Michael P.; Humphrey, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial resistance in microbes poses a global and increasing threat to public health. The horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes was thought to be due largely to conjugative plasmids or transposons, with only a minor part being played by transduction through bacteriophages. However, whole-genome sequencing has recently shown that the latter mechanism could be highly important in the exchange of antimicrobial resistance genes between microorganisms and environments. The transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes by phages could underlie the origin of resistant bacteria found in food. We show that chicken meat carries a number of phages capable of transferring antimicrobial resistance. Of 243 phages randomly isolated from chicken meat, about a quarter (24.7%) were able to transduce resistance to one or more of the five antimicrobials tested into Escherichia coli ATCC 13706 (DSM 12242). Resistance to kanamycin was transduced the most often, followed by that to chloramphenicol, with four phages transducing tetracycline resistance and three transducing ampicillin resistance. Phages able to transduce antimicrobial resistance were isolated from 44% of the samples of chicken meat that we tested. The statistically significant (P = 0.01) relationship between the presence of phages transducing kanamycin resistance and E. coli isolates resistant to this antibiotic suggests that transduction may be an important mechanism for transferring kanamycin resistance to E. coli. It appears that the transduction of resistance to certain antimicrobials, e.g., kanamycin, not only is widely distributed in E. coli isolates found on meat but also could represent a major mechanism for resistance transfer. The result is of high importance for animal and human health. PMID:25934615

  5. Bacteriophages Isolated from Chicken Meat and the Horizontal Transfer of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes.

    PubMed

    Shousha, Amira; Awaiwanont, Nattakarn; Sofka, Dmitrij; Smulders, Frans J M; Paulsen, Peter; Szostak, Michael P; Humphrey, Tom; Hilbert, Friederike

    2015-07-01

    Antimicrobial resistance in microbes poses a global and increasing threat to public health. The horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes was thought to be due largely to conjugative plasmids or transposons, with only a minor part being played by transduction through bacteriophages. However, whole-genome sequencing has recently shown that the latter mechanism could be highly important in the exchange of antimicrobial resistance genes between microorganisms and environments. The transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes by phages could underlie the origin of resistant bacteria found in food. We show that chicken meat carries a number of phages capable of transferring antimicrobial resistance. Of 243 phages randomly isolated from chicken meat, about a quarter (24.7%) were able to transduce resistance to one or more of the five antimicrobials tested into Escherichia coli ATCC 13706 (DSM 12242). Resistance to kanamycin was transduced the most often, followed by that to chloramphenicol, with four phages transducing tetracycline resistance and three transducing ampicillin resistance. Phages able to transduce antimicrobial resistance were isolated from 44% of the samples of chicken meat that we tested. The statistically significant (P = 0.01) relationship between the presence of phages transducing kanamycin resistance and E. coli isolates resistant to this antibiotic suggests that transduction may be an important mechanism for transferring kanamycin resistance to E. coli. It appears that the transduction of resistance to certain antimicrobials, e.g., kanamycin, not only is widely distributed in E. coli isolates found on meat but also could represent a major mechanism for resistance transfer. The result is of high importance for animal and human health. PMID:25934615

  6. Putative cross-kingdom horizontal gene transfer in sponge (Porifera) mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Rot, Chagai; Goldfarb, Itay; Ilan, Micha; Huchon, Dorothée

    2006-01-01

    Background The mitochondrial genome of Metazoa is usually a compact molecule without introns. Exceptions to this rule have been reported only in corals and sea anemones (Cnidaria), in which group I introns have been discovered in the cox1 and nad5 genes. Here we show several lines of evidence demonstrating that introns can also be found in the mitochondria of sponges (Porifera). Results A 2,349 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cox1 gene was sequenced from the sponge Tetilla sp. (Spirophorida). This fragment suggests the presence of a 1143 bp intron. Similar to all the cnidarian mitochondrial introns, the putative intron has group I intron characteristics. The intron is present in the cox1 gene and encodes a putative homing endonuclease. In order to establish the distribution of this intron in sponges, the cox1 gene was sequenced from several representatives of the demosponge diversity. The intron was found only in the sponge order Spirophorida. A phylogenetic analysis of the COI protein sequence and of the intron open reading frame suggests that the intron may have been transmitted horizontally from a fungus donor. Conclusion Little is known about sponge-associated fungi, although in the last few years the latter have been frequently isolated from sponges. We suggest that the horizontal gene transfer of a mitochondrial intron was facilitated by a symbiotic relationship between fungus and sponge. Ecological relationships are known to have implications at the genomic level. Here, an ecological relationship between sponge and fungus is suggested based on the genomic analysis. PMID:16972986

  7. Characterization of horizontally transferred β-fructofuranosidase (ScrB) genes in Agrilus planipennis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, C; Doucet, D; Mittapalli, O

    2014-12-01

    The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an important invasive insect pest of Fraxinus spp. that feeds on host tissues containing high levels of sucrose. However, little is known about how it digests sucrose. Here, using larval midgut transcriptome data and preliminary genome sequence efforts, two β-fructofuranosidase-encoding ScrB genes, AplaScrB-1 and AplaScrB-2, were identified, and proved to reside within the A. planipennis genome. Homology and phylogenetic analysis revealed that they were acquired by A. planipennis via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria, possibly an event independent from that reported in bark beetles (eg ScrB genes). Microsynteny between A. planipennis DNA scaffold #2042940, which hosts AplaScrB-1, and a region in the Tribolium castaneum chromosome LG4 suggested that A. planipennis gained this gene after the separation of Buprestidae and Tenebrionidae. Although both of the putative AplaScrB proteins have conserved β-fructofuranosidase motifs, only AplaScrB-2 was predicted to be a secretory protein. Expression of AplaScrB-1 seemed constitutive during development and in all tissues examined, whereas AplaScrB-2 showed a peak expression in adults and in the midgut. We propose that acquisition of these genes by A. planipennis from bacteria is adaptive, and specifically AplaScrB-2 is involved in breaking down dietary sucrose to obtain energy for development. PMID:25224649

  8. Ancient horizontal transfer of transaldolase-like protein gene and its role in plant vascular development.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zefeng; Zhou, Yong; Huang, Jinling; Hu, Yunyun; Zhang, Enying; Xie, Zhengwen; Ma, Sijia; Gao, Yun; Song, Song; Xu, Chenwu; Liang, Guohua

    2015-04-01

    A major event in land plant evolution is the origin of vascular tissues, which ensure the long-distance transport of water, nutrients and organic compounds. However, the molecular basis for the origin and evolution of plant vascular tissues remains largely unknown. Here, we investigate the evolution of the land plant TAL-type transaldolase (TAL) gene and its potential function in rice (Oryza sativa) based on phylogenetic analyses and transgenic experiments, respectively. TAL genes are only present in land plants and bacteria. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that land plant TAL genes are derived from Actinobacteria through an ancient horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event. Further evidence reveals that land plant TAL genes have undergone positive selection and gained several introns following its acquisition by the most recent common ancestor of land plants. Transgenic plant experiments show that rice TAL is specifically expressed in vascular tissues and that knockdown of TAL expression leads to changes in both the number and pattern of vascular bundles. Our findings show that the ancient HGT of TAL from bacteria probably plays an important role in plant vascular development and adaptation to land environments. PMID:25420550

  9. No evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer in the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini

    PubMed Central

    Koutsovoulos, Georgios; Laetsch, Dominik R.; Stevens, Lewis; Daub, Jennifer; Conlon, Claire; Maroon, Habib; Thomas, Fran; Aboobaker, Aziz A.

    2016-01-01

    Tardigrades are meiofaunal ecdysozoans that are key to understanding the origins of Arthropoda. Many species of Tardigrada can survive extreme conditions through cryptobiosis. In a recent paper [Boothby TC, et al. (2015) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(52):15976–15981], the authors concluded that the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini had an unprecedented proportion (17%) of genes originating through functional horizontal gene transfer (fHGT) and speculated that fHGT was likely formative in the evolution of cryptobiosis. We independently sequenced the genome of H. dujardini. As expected from whole-organism DNA sampling, our raw data contained reads from nontarget genomes. Filtering using metagenomics approaches generated a draft H. dujardini genome assembly of 135 Mb with superior assembly metrics to the previously published assembly. Additional microbial contamination likely remains. We found no support for extensive fHGT. Among 23,021 gene predictions we identified 0.2% strong candidates for fHGT from bacteria and 0.2% strong candidates for fHGT from nonmetazoan eukaryotes. Cross-comparison of assemblies showed that the overwhelming majority of HGT candidates in the Boothby et al. genome derived from contaminants. We conclude that fHGT into H. dujardini accounts for at most 1–2% of genes and that the proposal that one-sixth of tardigrade genes originate from functional HGT events is an artifact of undetected contamination. PMID:27035985

  10. No evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer in the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini.

    PubMed

    Koutsovoulos, Georgios; Kumar, Sujai; Laetsch, Dominik R; Stevens, Lewis; Daub, Jennifer; Conlon, Claire; Maroon, Habib; Thomas, Fran; Aboobaker, Aziz A; Blaxter, Mark

    2016-05-01

    Tardigrades are meiofaunal ecdysozoans that are key to understanding the origins of Arthropoda. Many species of Tardigrada can survive extreme conditions through cryptobiosis. In a recent paper [Boothby TC, et al. (2015) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(52):15976-15981], the authors concluded that the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini had an unprecedented proportion (17%) of genes originating through functional horizontal gene transfer (fHGT) and speculated that fHGT was likely formative in the evolution of cryptobiosis. We independently sequenced the genome of H. dujardini As expected from whole-organism DNA sampling, our raw data contained reads from nontarget genomes. Filtering using metagenomics approaches generated a draft H. dujardini genome assembly of 135 Mb with superior assembly metrics to the previously published assembly. Additional microbial contamination likely remains. We found no support for extensive fHGT. Among 23,021 gene predictions we identified 0.2% strong candidates for fHGT from bacteria and 0.2% strong candidates for fHGT from nonmetazoan eukaryotes. Cross-comparison of assemblies showed that the overwhelming majority of HGT candidates in the Boothby et al. genome derived from contaminants. We conclude that fHGT into H. dujardini accounts for at most 1-2% of genes and that the proposal that one-sixth of tardigrade genes originate from functional HGT events is an artifact of undetected contamination. PMID:27035985

  11. The tryptophanase gene cluster of Haemophilus influenzae type b: evidence for horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Martin, K; Morlin, G; Smith, A; Nordyke, A; Eisenstark, A; Golomb, M

    1998-01-01

    Among strains of Haemophilus influenzae, the ability to catabolize tryptophan (as detected by indole production) varies and is correlated with pathogenicity. Tryptophan catabolism is widespread (70 to 75%) among harmless respiratory isolates but is nearly universal (94 to 100%) among strains causing serious disease, including meningitis. As a first step in investigating the relationship between tryptophan catabolism and virulence, we have identified genes in pathogenic H. influenzae which are homologous to the tryptophanase (tna) operon of Escherichia coli. The tna genes are located on a 3.1-kb fragment between nlpD and mutS in the H. influenzae type b (Eagan) genome, are flanked by 43-bp direct repeats of an uptake signal sequence downstream from nlpD, and appear to have been inserted as a mobile unit within this sequence. The organization of this insertion is reminiscent of pathogenicity islands. The tna cluster is found at the same map location in all indole-positive strains of H. influenzae surveyed and is absent from reference type d and e genomes. In contrast to H. influenzae, most other Haemophilus species lack tna genes. Phylogenetic comparisons suggest that the tna cluster was acquired by intergeneric lateral transfer, either by H. influenzae or a recent ancestor, and that E. coli may have acquired its tnaA gene from a related source. Genomes of virulent H. influenzae resemble those of pathogenic enterics in having an island of laterally transferred DNA next to mutS. PMID:9422600

  12. Genome-Wide Molecular Clock and Horizontal Gene Transfer in Bacterial Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Novichkov, Pavel S.; Omelchenko, Marina V.; Gelfand, Mikhail S.; Mironov, Andrei A.; Wolf, Yuri I.; Koonin, Eugene V.

    2004-01-01

    We describe a simple theoretical framework for identifying orthologous sets of genes that deviate from a clock-like model of evolution. The approach used is based on comparing the evolutionary distances within a set of orthologs to a standard intergenomic distance, which was defined as the median of the distribution of the distances between all one-to-one orthologs. Under the clock-like model, the points on a plot of intergenic distances versus intergenomic distances are expected to fit a straight line. A statistical technique to identify significant deviations from the clock-like behavior is described. For several hundred analyzed orthologous sets representing three well-defined bacterial lineages, the α-Proteobacteria, the γ-Proteobacteria, and the Bacillus-Clostridium group, the clock-like null hypothesis could not be rejected for ∼70% of the sets, whereas the rest showed substantial anomalies. Subsequent detailed phylogenetic analysis of the genes with the strongest deviations indicated that over one-half of these genes probably underwent a distinct form of horizontal gene transfer, xenologous gene displacement, in which a gene is displaced by an ortholog from a different lineage. The remaining deviations from the clock-like model could be explained by lineage-specific acceleration of evolution. The results indicate that although xenologous gene displacement is a major force in bacterial evolution, a significant majority of orthologous gene sets in three major bacterial lineages evolved in accordance with the clock-like model. The approach described here allows rapid detection of deviations from this mode of evolution on the genome scale. PMID:15375139

  13. Origin of Ecdysosteroid UDP-glycosyltransferases of Baculoviruses through Horizontal Gene Transfer from Lepidoptera

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.

    2014-01-01

    Baculoviruses infecting Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) encodes an enzyme known as ecdysosteroid UDP-glycosyltransferase (EGT), which inactivates insect host ecdysosteroid hormones, thereby preventing molt and pupation and permitting a build-up of the viral population within the host. Baculovirus EGT shows evidence of homology to insect UDP-glycosyltransferases, and a phylogenetic analysis supported the closest relative of baculovirus EGT are the UGT33 and UGT34 families of lepidopteran UDP-glycosyltransferases. The phylogenetic analysis thus supported that baculovirus EGT arose by horizontal gene transfer of a UDP-glycosyltransferase from a lepidopteran host, an event that occurred 70 million years ago at the earliest but possibly much more recently. Three amino acid replacements unique to baculovirus EGTs and conserved in all available baculovirus sequences were identified in the N-terminal region of the molecule. Because of their conservation, these amino acids are candidates for playing an important functional role in baculovirus EGT function. PMID:24834437

  14. Regulation of competence-mediated horizontal gene transfer in the natural habitat of Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Metzger, Lisa C; Blokesch, Melanie

    2016-04-01

    The human pathogen Vibrio cholerae is an autochthonous inhabitant of aquatic environments where it often interacts with zooplankton and their chitinous molts. Chitin induces natural competence for transformation in V. cholerae, a key mode of horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Recent comparative genomic analyses were indicative of extensive HGT in this species. However, we can still expand our understanding of the complex regulatory network that drives competence in V. cholerae. Here, we present recent advances, including the elucidation of bipartite competence regulation mediated by QstR, the inclusion of the type VI secretion system in the competence regulon of pandemic O1 El Tor strains, and the identification of TfoS as a transcriptional regulator that links chitin to competence induction in V. cholerae. PMID:26615332

  15. Extensive Horizontal Gene Transfer during Staphylococcus aureus Co-colonization In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Alex J.; Loeffler, Anette; Witney, Adam A.; Gould, Katherine A.; Lloyd, David H.; Lindsay, Jodi A.

    2014-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal and major pathogen of humans and animals. Comparative genomics of S. aureus populations suggests that colonization of different host species is associated with carriage of mobile genetic elements (MGE), particularly bacteriophages and plasmids capable of encoding virulence, resistance, and immune evasion pathways. Antimicrobial-resistant S. aureus of livestock are a potential zoonotic threat to human health if they adapt to colonize humans efficiently. We utilized the technique of experimental evolution and co-colonized gnotobiotic piglets with both human- and pig-associated variants of the lineage clonal complex 398, and investigated growth and genetic changes over 16 days using whole genome sequencing. The human isolate survived co-colonization on piglets more efficiently than in vitro. During co-colonization, transfer of MGE from the pig to the human isolate was detected within 4 h. Extensive and repeated transfer of two bacteriophages and three plasmids resulted in colonization with isolates carrying a wide variety of mobilomes. Whole genome sequencing of progeny bacteria revealed no acquisition of core genome polymorphisms, highlighting the importance of MGE. Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage recombination and integration into novel sites was detected experimentally for the first time. During colonization, clones coexisted and diversified rather than a single variant dominating. Unexpectedly, each piglet carried unique populations of bacterial variants, suggesting limited transmission of bacteria between piglets once colonized. Our data show that horizontal gene transfer occurs at very high frequency in vivo and significantly higher than that detectable in vitro. PMID:25260585

  16. Cancer Progression Mediated by Horizontal Gene Transfer in an In Vivo Model

    PubMed Central

    Trejo-Becerril, Catalina; Pérez-Cárdenas, Enrique; Taja-Chayeb, Lucía; Anker, Philippe; Herrera-Goepfert, Roberto; Medina-Velázquez, Luis A.; Hidalgo-Miranda, Alfredo; Pérez-Montiel, Delia; Chávez-Blanco, Alma; Cruz-Velázquez, Judith; Díaz-Chávez, José; Gaxiola, Miguel; Dueñas-González, Alfonso

    2012-01-01

    It is known that cancer progresses by vertical gene transfer, but this paradigm ignores that DNA circulates in higher organisms and that it is biologically active upon its uptake by recipient cells. Here we confirm previous observations on the ability of cell-free DNA to induce in vitro cell transformation and tumorigenesis by treating NIH3T3 recipient murine cells with serum of colon cancer patients and supernatant of SW480 human cancer cells. Cell transformation and tumorigenesis of recipient cells did not occur if serum and supernatants were depleted of DNA. It is also demonstrated that horizontal cancer progression mediated by circulating DNA occurs via its uptake by recipient cells in an in vivo model where immunocompetent rats subjected to colon carcinogenesis with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine had increased rate of colonic tumors when injected in the dorsum with human SW480 colon carcinoma cells as a source of circulating oncogenic DNA, which could be offset by treating these animals with DNAse I and proteases. Though the contribution of biologically active molecules other than DNA for this phenomenon to occur cannot be ruled out, our results support the fact that cancer cells emit into the circulation biologically active DNA to foster tumor progression. Further exploration of the horizontal tumor progression phenomenon mediated by circulating DNA is clearly needed to determine whether its manipulation could have a role in cancer therapy. PMID:23285175

  17. Protein Homeostasis Imposes a Barrier on Functional Integration of Horizontally Transferred Genes in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Sanchari; Manhart, Michael; Choi, Jeong-Mo; Mu, Wanmeng; Zhou, Jingwen; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays a central role in bacterial evolution, yet the molecular and cellular constraints on functional integration of the foreign genes are poorly understood. Here we performed inter-species replacement of the chromosomal folA gene, encoding an essential metabolic enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), with orthologs from 35 other mesophilic bacteria. The orthologous inter-species replacements caused a marked drop (in the range 10–90%) in bacterial growth rate despite the fact that most orthologous DHFRs are as stable as E.coli DHFR at 37°C and are more catalytically active than E. coli DHFR. Although phylogenetic distance between E. coli and orthologous DHFRs as well as their individual molecular properties correlate poorly with growth rates, the product of the intracellular DHFR abundance and catalytic activity (k cat/KM), correlates strongly with growth rates, indicating that the drop in DHFR abundance constitutes the major fitness barrier to HGT. Serial propagation of the orthologous strains for ~600 generations dramatically improved growth rates by largely alleviating the fitness barriers. Whole genome sequencing and global proteome quantification revealed that the evolved strains with the largest fitness improvements have accumulated mutations that inactivated the ATP-dependent Lon protease, causing an increase in the intracellular DHFR abundance. In one case DHFR abundance increased further due to mutations accumulated in folA promoter, but only after the lon inactivating mutations were fixed in the population. Thus, by apparently distinguishing between self and non-self proteins, protein homeostasis imposes an immediate and global barrier to the functional integration of foreign genes by decreasing the intracellular abundance of their products. Once this barrier is alleviated, more fine-tuned evolution occurs to adjust the function/expression of the transferred proteins to the constraints imposed by the intracellular

  18. Phylogenomic species tree estimation in the presence of incomplete lineage sorting and horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Species tree estimation is challenged by gene tree heterogeneity resulting from biological processes such as duplication and loss, hybridization, incomplete lineage sorting (ILS), and horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Mathematical theory about reconstructing species trees in the presence of HGT alone or ILS alone suggests that quartet-based species tree methods (known to be statistically consistent under ILS, or under bounded amounts of HGT) might be effective techniques for estimating species trees when both HGT and ILS are present. Results We evaluated several publicly available coalescent-based methods and concatenation under maximum likelihood on simulated datasets with moderate ILS and varying levels of HGT. Our study shows that two quartet-based species tree estimation methods (ASTRAL-2 and weighted Quartets MaxCut) are both highly accurate, even on datasets with high rates of HGT. In contrast, although NJst and concatenation using maximum likelihood are highly accurate under low HGT, they are less robust to high HGT rates. Conclusion Our study shows that quartet-based species-tree estimation methods can be highly accurate under the presence of both HGT and ILS. The study suggests the possibility that some quartet-based methods might be statistically consistent under phylogenomic models of gene tree heterogeneity with both HGT and ILS. PMID:26450506

  19. Adaptive horizontal transfer of a bacterial gene to an invasive insect pest of coffee.

    PubMed

    Acuña, Ricardo; Padilla, Beatriz E; Flórez-Ramos, Claudia P; Rubio, José D; Herrera, Juan C; Benavides, Pablo; Lee, Sang-Jik; Yeats, Trevor H; Egan, Ashley N; Doyle, Jeffrey J; Rose, Jocelyn K C

    2012-03-13

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) involves the nonsexual transmission of genetic material across species boundaries. Although often detected in prokaryotes, examples of HGT involving animals are relatively rare, and any evolutionary advantage conferred to the recipient is typically obscure. We identified a gene (HhMAN1) from the coffee berry borer beetle, Hypothenemus hampei, a devastating pest of coffee, which shows clear evidence of HGT from bacteria. HhMAN1 encodes a mannanase, representing a class of glycosyl hydrolases that has not previously been reported in insects. Recombinant HhMAN1 protein hydrolyzes coffee berry galactomannan, the major storage polysaccharide in this species and the presumed food of H. hampei. HhMAN1 was found to be widespread in a broad biogeographic survey of H. hampei accessions, indicating that the HGT event occurred before radiation of the insect from West Africa to Asia and South America. However, the gene was not detected in the closely related species H. obscurus (the tropical nut borer or "false berry borer"), which does not colonize coffee beans. Thus, HGT of HhMAN1 from bacteria represents a likely adaptation to a specific ecological niche and may have been promoted by intensive agricultural practices. PMID:22371593

  20. Dissemination of Antimicrobial Resistance in Microbial Ecosystems through Horizontal Gene Transfer.

    PubMed

    von Wintersdorff, Christian J H; Penders, John; van Niekerk, Julius M; Mills, Nathan D; Majumder, Snehali; van Alphen, Lieke B; Savelkoul, Paul H M; Wolffs, Petra F G

    2016-01-01

    The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria has been a rising problem for public health in recent decades. It is becoming increasingly recognized that not only antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) encountered in clinical pathogens are of relevance, but rather, all pathogenic, commensal as well as environmental bacteria-and also mobile genetic elements and bacteriophages-form a reservoir of ARGs (the resistome) from which pathogenic bacteria can acquire resistance via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT has caused antibiotic resistance to spread from commensal and environmental species to pathogenic ones, as has been shown for some clinically important ARGs. Of the three canonical mechanisms of HGT, conjugation is thought to have the greatest influence on the dissemination of ARGs. While transformation and transduction are deemed less important, recent discoveries suggest their role may be larger than previously thought. Understanding the extent of the resistome and how its mobilization to pathogenic bacteria takes place is essential for efforts to control the dissemination of these genes. Here, we will discuss the concept of the resistome, provide examples of HGT of clinically relevant ARGs and present an overview of the current knowledge of the contributions the various HGT mechanisms make to the spread of antibiotic resistance. PMID:26925045

  1. Dissemination of Antimicrobial Resistance in Microbial Ecosystems through Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    von Wintersdorff, Christian J. H.; Penders, John; van Niekerk, Julius M.; Mills, Nathan D.; Majumder, Snehali; van Alphen, Lieke B.; Savelkoul, Paul H. M.; Wolffs, Petra F. G.

    2016-01-01

    The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria has been a rising problem for public health in recent decades. It is becoming increasingly recognized that not only antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) encountered in clinical pathogens are of relevance, but rather, all pathogenic, commensal as well as environmental bacteria—and also mobile genetic elements and bacteriophages—form a reservoir of ARGs (the resistome) from which pathogenic bacteria can acquire resistance via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT has caused antibiotic resistance to spread from commensal and environmental species to pathogenic ones, as has been shown for some clinically important ARGs. Of the three canonical mechanisms of HGT, conjugation is thought to have the greatest influence on the dissemination of ARGs. While transformation and transduction are deemed less important, recent discoveries suggest their role may be larger than previously thought. Understanding the extent of the resistome and how its mobilization to pathogenic bacteria takes place is essential for efforts to control the dissemination of these genes. Here, we will discuss the concept of the resistome, provide examples of HGT of clinically relevant ARGs and present an overview of the current knowledge of the contributions the various HGT mechanisms make to the spread of antibiotic resistance. PMID:26925045

  2. Adaptive horizontal transfer of a bacterial gene to an invasive insect pest of coffee

    PubMed Central

    Acuña, Ricardo; Padilla, Beatriz E.; Flórez-Ramos, Claudia P.; Rubio, José D.; Herrera, Juan C.; Benavides, Pablo; Lee, Sang-Jik; Yeats, Trevor H.; Egan, Ashley N.; Doyle, Jeffrey J.; Rose, Jocelyn K. C.

    2012-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) involves the nonsexual transmission of genetic material across species boundaries. Although often detected in prokaryotes, examples of HGT involving animals are relatively rare, and any evolutionary advantage conferred to the recipient is typically obscure. We identified a gene (HhMAN1) from the coffee berry borer beetle, Hypothenemus hampei, a devastating pest of coffee, which shows clear evidence of HGT from bacteria. HhMAN1 encodes a mannanase, representing a class of glycosyl hydrolases that has not previously been reported in insects. Recombinant HhMAN1 protein hydrolyzes coffee berry galactomannan, the major storage polysaccharide in this species and the presumed food of H. hampei. HhMAN1 was found to be widespread in a broad biogeographic survey of H. hampei accessions, indicating that the HGT event occurred before radiation of the insect from West Africa to Asia and South America. However, the gene was not detected in the closely related species H. obscurus (the tropical nut borer or “false berry borer”), which does not colonize coffee beans. Thus, HGT of HhMAN1 from bacteria represents a likely adaptation to a specific ecological niche and may have been promoted by intensive agricultural practices. PMID:22371593

  3. No evidence of inhibition of horizontal gene transfer by CRISPR-Cas on evolutionary timescales.

    PubMed

    Gophna, Uri; Kristensen, David M; Wolf, Yuri I; Popa, Ovidiu; Drevet, Christine; Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-09-01

    The CRISPR (clustered, regularly, interspaced, short, palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated genes) systems of archaea and bacteria provide adaptive immunity against viruses and other selfish elements and are believed to curtail horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Limiting acquisition of new genetic material could be one of the sources of the fitness cost of CRISPR-Cas maintenance and one of the causes of the patchy distribution of CRISPR-Cas among bacteria, and across environments. We sought to test the hypothesis that the activity of CRISPR-Cas in microbes is negatively correlated with the extent of recent HGT. Using three independent measures of HGT, we found no significant dependence between the length of CRISPR arrays, which reflects the activity of the immune system, and the estimated number of recent HGT events. In contrast, we observed a significant negative dependence between the estimated extent of HGT and growth temperature of microbes, which could be explained by the lower genetic diversity in hotter environments. We hypothesize that the relevant events in the evolution of resistance to mobile elements and proclivity for HGT, to which CRISPR-Cas systems seem to substantially contribute, occur on the population scale rather than on the timescale of species evolution. PMID:25710183

  4. Horizontal Gene Transfer and Redundancy of Tryptophan Biosynthetic Enzymes in Dinotoms

    PubMed Central

    Imanian, Behzad; Keeling, Patrick J.

    2014-01-01

    A tertiary endosymbiosis between a dinoflagellate host and diatom endosymbiont gave rise to “dinotoms,” cells with a unique nuclear and mitochondrial redundancy derived from two evolutionarily distinct eukaryotic lineages. To examine how this unique redundancy might have affected the evolution of metabolic systems, we investigated the transcription of genes involved in biosynthesis of the amino acid tryptophan in three species, Durinskia baltica, Kryptoperidinium foliaceum, and Glenodinium foliaceum. From transcriptome sequence data, we recovered two distinct sets of protein-coding transcripts covering the entire tryptophan biosynthetic pathway. Phylogenetic analyses suggest a diatom origin for one set of the proteins, which we infer to be expressed in the endosymbiont, and that the other arose from multiple horizontal gene transfer events to the dinoflagellate ancestor of the host lineage. This is the first indication that these cells retain redundant sets of transcripts and likely metabolic pathways for the biosynthesis of small molecules and extend their redundancy to their two distinct nuclear genomes. PMID:24448981

  5. Think laterally: horizontal gene transfer from symbiotic microbes may extend the phenotype of marine sessile hosts

    PubMed Central

    Degnan, Sandie M.

    2014-01-01

    Since the origin of the animal kingdom, marine animals have lived in association with viruses, prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes, often as symbionts. This long and continuous interaction has provided ample opportunity not only for the evolution of intimate interactions such as sharing of metabolic pathways, but also for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of non-metazoan genes into metazoan genomes. The number of demonstrated cases of inter-kingdom HGT is currently small, such that it is not yet widely appreciated as a significant player in animal evolution. Sessile marine invertebrates that vertically inherit bacterial symbionts, that have no dedicated germ line, or that bud or excise pluripotent somatic cells during their life history may be particularly receptive to HGT from their symbionts. Closer scrutiny of the growing number of genomes being accrued for these animals may thus reveal HGT as a regular source of novel variation that can function to extend the host phenotype metabolically, morphologically, or even behaviorally. Taxonomic identification of symbionts will help to address the intriguing question of whether past HGT events may constrain contemporary symbioses. PMID:25477875

  6. Single cell genomics indicates horizontal gene transfer and viral infections in a deep subsurface Firmicutes population

    PubMed Central

    Labonté, Jessica M.; Field, Erin K.; Lau, Maggie; Chivian, Dylan; Van Heerden, Esta; Wommack, K. Eric; Kieft, Thomas L.; Onstott, Tullis C.; Stepanauskas, Ramunas

    2015-01-01

    A major fraction of Earth's prokaryotic biomass dwells in the deep subsurface, where cellular abundances per volume of sample are lower, metabolism is slower, and generation times are longer than those in surface terrestrial and marine environments. How these conditions impact biotic interactions and evolutionary processes is largely unknown. Here we employed single cell genomics to analyze cell-to-cell genome content variability and signatures of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and viral infections in five cells of Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, which were collected from a 3 km-deep fracture water in the 2.9 Ga-old Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa. Between 0 and 32% of genes recovered from single cells were not present in the original, metagenomic assembly of Desulforudis, which was obtained from a neighboring subsurface fracture. We found a transposable prophage, a retron, multiple clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and restriction-modification systems, and an unusually high frequency of transposases in the analyzed single cell genomes. This indicates that recombination, HGT and viral infections are prevalent evolutionary events in the studied population of microorganisms inhabiting a highly stable deep subsurface environment. PMID:25954269

  7. Single cell genomics indicates horizontal gene transfer and viral infections in a deep subsurface Firmicutes population.

    PubMed

    Labonté, Jessica M; Field, Erin K; Lau, Maggie; Chivian, Dylan; Van Heerden, Esta; Wommack, K Eric; Kieft, Thomas L; Onstott, Tullis C; Stepanauskas, Ramunas

    2015-01-01

    A major fraction of Earth's prokaryotic biomass dwells in the deep subsurface, where cellular abundances per volume of sample are lower, metabolism is slower, and generation times are longer than those in surface terrestrial and marine environments. How these conditions impact biotic interactions and evolutionary processes is largely unknown. Here we employed single cell genomics to analyze cell-to-cell genome content variability and signatures of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and viral infections in five cells of Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, which were collected from a 3 km-deep fracture water in the 2.9 Ga-old Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa. Between 0 and 32% of genes recovered from single cells were not present in the original, metagenomic assembly of Desulforudis, which was obtained from a neighboring subsurface fracture. We found a transposable prophage, a retron, multiple clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and restriction-modification systems, and an unusually high frequency of transposases in the analyzed single cell genomes. This indicates that recombination, HGT and viral infections are prevalent evolutionary events in the studied population of microorganisms inhabiting a highly stable deep subsurface environment. PMID:25954269

  8. No evidence of inhibition of horizontal gene transfer by CRISPR–Cas on evolutionary timescales

    PubMed Central

    Gophna, Uri; Kristensen, David M; Wolf, Yuri I; Popa, Ovidiu; Drevet, Christine; Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-01-01

    The CRISPR (clustered, regularly, interspaced, short, palindromic repeats)–Cas (CRISPR-associated genes) systems of archaea and bacteria provide adaptive immunity against viruses and other selfish elements and are believed to curtail horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Limiting acquisition of new genetic material could be one of the sources of the fitness cost of CRISPR–Cas maintenance and one of the causes of the patchy distribution of CRISPR–Cas among bacteria, and across environments. We sought to test the hypothesis that the activity of CRISPR–Cas in microbes is negatively correlated with the extent of recent HGT. Using three independent measures of HGT, we found no significant dependence between the length of CRISPR arrays, which reflects the activity of the immune system, and the estimated number of recent HGT events. In contrast, we observed a significant negative dependence between the estimated extent of HGT and growth temperature of microbes, which could be explained by the lower genetic diversity in hotter environments. We hypothesize that the relevant events in the evolution of resistance to mobile elements and proclivity for HGT, to which CRISPR–Cas systems seem to substantially contribute, occur on the population scale rather than on the timescale of species evolution. PMID:25710183

  9. Visual evidence of horizontal gene transfer between plants and bacteria in the phytosphere of transplastomic tobacco.

    PubMed

    Pontiroli, Alessandra; Rizzi, Aurora; Simonet, Pascal; Daffonchio, Daniele; Vogel, Timothy M; Monier, Jean-Michel

    2009-05-01

    Plant surfaces, colonized by numerous and diverse bacterial species, are often considered hot spots for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between plants and bacteria. Plant DNA released during the degradation of plant tissues can persist and remain biologically active for significant periods of time, suggesting that soil or plant-associated bacteria could be in direct contact with plant DNA. In addition, nutrients released during the decaying process may provide a copiotrophic environment conducive for opportunistic microbial growth. Using Acinetobacter baylyi strain BD413 and transplastomic tobacco plants harboring the aadA gene as models, the objective of this study was to determine whether specific niches could be shown to foster bacterial growth on intact or decaying plant tissues, to develop a competence state, and to possibly acquire exogenous plant DNA by natural transformation. Visualization of HGT in situ was performed using A. baylyi strain BD413(rbcL-DeltaPaadA::gfp) carrying a promoterless aadA::gfp fusion. Both antibiotic resistance and green fluorescence phenotypes were restored in recombinant bacterial cells after homologous recombination with transgenic plant DNA. Opportunistic growth occurred on decaying plant tissues, and a significant proportion of the bacteria developed a competence state. Quantification of transformants clearly supported the idea that the phytosphere constitutes a hot spot for HGT between plants and bacteria. The nondisruptive approach used to visualize transformants in situ provides new insights into environmental factors influencing HGT for plant tissues. PMID:19329660

  10. Horizontal gene transfer confers fermentative metabolism in the respiratory-deficient plant trypanosomatid Phytomonas serpens.

    PubMed

    Ienne, Susan; Pappas, Georgios; Benabdellah, Karim; González, Antonio; Zingales, Bianca

    2012-04-01

    Among trypanosomatids, the genus Phytomonas is the only one specifically adapted to infect plants. These hosts provide a particular habitat with a plentiful supply of carbohydrates. Phytomonas sp. lacks a cytochrome-mediated respiratory chain and Krebs cycle, and ATP production relies predominantly on glycolysis. We have characterised the complete gene encoding a putative pyruvate/indolepyruvate decarboxylase (PDC/IPDC) (548 amino acids) of P. serpens, that displays high amino acid sequence similarity with phytobacteria and Leishmania enzymes. No orthologous PDC/IPDC genes were found in Trypanosoma cruzi or T. brucei. Conservation of the PDC/IPDC gene sequence was verified in 14 Phytomonas isolates. A phylogenetic analysis shows that Phytomonas protein is robustly monophyletic with Leishmania spp. and C. fasciculata enzymes. In the trees this clade appears as a sister group of indolepyruvate decarboxylases of γ-proteobacteria. This supports the proposition that a horizontal gene transfer event from a donor phytobacteria to a recipient ancestral trypanosome has occurred prior to the separation between Phytomonas, Leishmania and Crithidia. We have measured the PDC activity in P. serpens cell extracts. The enzyme has a Km value for pyruvate of 1.4mM. The acquisition of a PDC, a key enzyme in alcoholic fermentation, explains earlier observations that ethanol is one of the major end-products of glucose catabolism under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. This represents an alternative and necessary route to reoxidise part of the NADH produced in the highly demanding glycolytic pathway and highlights the importance of this type of event in metabolic adaptation. PMID:22293462

  11. Horizontal gene transfer confers adaptive advantages to phytopathogenic fungi: a case study of catalase-peroxidase in Fusarium verticillioides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the exchange and stable integration of genetic material between different evolutionary lineages, is widely observed in fungi. We hypothesize that successful stabilization of HGT elements provides adaptive advantages (e.g., virulence). Catalase/peroxidases (KatGs) are ...

  12. Lightning-triggered electroporation and electrofusion as possible contributors to natural horizontal gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotnik, Tadej

    2013-09-01

    Phylogenetic studies show that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a significant contributor to genetic variability of prokaryotes, and was perhaps even more abundant during the early evolution. Hitherto, research of natural HGT has mainly focused on three mechanisms of DNA transfer: conjugation, natural competence, and viral transduction. This paper discusses the feasibility of a fourth such mechanism - cell electroporation and/or electrofusion triggered by atmospheric electrostatic discharges (lightnings). A description of electroporation as a phenomenon is followed by a review of experimental evidence that electroporation of prokaryotes in aqueous environments can result in release of non-denatured DNA, as well as uptake of DNA from the surroundings and transformation. Similarly, a description of electrofusion is followed by a review of experiments showing that prokaryotes devoid of cell wall can electrofuse into hybrids expressing the genes of their both precursors. Under sufficiently fine-tuned conditions, electroporation and electrofusion are efficient tools for artificial transformation and hybridization, respectively, but the quantitative analysis developed here shows that conditions for electroporation-based DNA release, DNA uptake and transformation, as well as for electrofusion are also present in many natural aqueous environments exposed to lightnings. Electroporation is thus a plausible contributor to natural HGT among prokaryotes, and could have been particularly important during the early evolution, when the other mechanisms might have been scarcer or nonexistent. In modern prokaryotes, natural absence of the cell wall is rare, but it is reasonable to assume that the wall has formed during a certain stage of evolution, and at least prior to this, electrofusion could also have contributed to natural HGT. The concluding section outlines several guidelines for assessment of the feasibility of lightning-triggered HGT.

  13. Comparative Metagenomics Reveals Host Specific Metavirulomes and Horizontal Gene Transfer Elements in the Chicken Cecum Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Ani; Brulc, Jennifer M.; Wilson, Melissa K.; Law, Bibiana F.; Theoret, James R.; Joens, Lynn A.; Konkel, Michael E.; Angly, Florent; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A.; Edwards, Robert A.; Nelson, Karen E.; White, Bryan A.

    2008-01-01

    mobile DNA elements are a major functional component of cecal microbiomes, thus contributing to horizontal gene transfer and functional microbiome evolution. Moreover, the metavirulomes of these microbiomes appear to associate by host environment. These data have implications for defining core and variable microbiome content in a host species. Furthermore, this suggests that the evolution of host specific metavirulomes is a contributing factor in disease resistance to zoonotic pathogens. PMID:18698407

  14. Complete genome sequence of Brachyspira intermedia reveals unique genomic features in Brachyspira species and phage-mediated horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Brachyspira spp. colonize the intestines of some mammalian and avian species and show different degrees of enteropathogenicity. Brachyspira intermedia can cause production losses in chickens and strain PWS/AT now becomes the fourth genome to be completed in the genus Brachyspira. Results 15 classes of unique and shared genes were analyzed in B. intermedia, B. murdochii, B. hyodysenteriae and B. pilosicoli. The largest number of unique genes was found in B. intermedia and B. murdochii. This indicates the presence of larger pan-genomes. In general, hypothetical protein annotations are overrepresented among the unique genes. A 3.2 kb plasmid was found in B. intermedia strain PWS/AT. The plasmid was also present in the B. murdochii strain but not in nine other Brachyspira isolates. Within the Brachyspira genomes, genes had been translocated and also frequently switched between leading and lagging strands, a process that can be followed by different AT-skews in the third positions of synonymous codons. We also found evidence that bacteriophages were being remodeled and genes incorporated into them. Conclusions The accessory gene pool shapes species-specific traits. It is also influenced by reductive genome evolution and horizontal gene transfer. Gene-transfer events can cross both species and genus boundaries and bacteriophages appear to play an important role in this process. A mechanism for horizontal gene transfer appears to be gene translocations leading to remodeling of bacteriophages in combination with broad tropism. PMID:21816042

  15. Molecular evidence for ongoing complementarity and horizontal gene transfer in endosymbiotic systems of mealybugs

    PubMed Central

    López-Madrigal, Sergio; Beltrà, Aleixandre; Resurrección, Serena; Soto, Antonia; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés; Gil, Rosario

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular bacterial supply of essential amino acids is common among sap-feeding insects, thus complementing the scarcity of nitrogenous compounds in plant phloem. This is also the role of the two mealybug endosymbiotic systems whose genomes have been sequenced. In the nested endosymbiotic system from Planococcus citri (Pseudococcinae), “Candidatus Tremblaya princeps” and “Candidatus Moranella endobia” cooperate to synthesize essential amino acids, while in Phenacoccus avenae (Phenacoccinae) this function is performed by its single endosymbiont “Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola.” However, little is known regarding the evolution of essential amino acid supplementation strategies in other mealybug systems. To address this knowledge gap, we screened for the presence of six selected loci involved in essential amino acid biosynthesis in five additional mealybug species. We found evidence of ongoing complementarity among endosymbionts from insects of subfamily Pseudococcinae, as well as horizontal gene transfer affecting endosymbionts from insects of family Phenacoccinae, providing a more comprehensive picture of the evolutionary history of these endosymbiotic systems. Additionally, we report two diagnostic motifs to help identify invasive mealybug species. PMID:25206351

  16. Population-Dynamic Modeling of Bacterial Horizontal Gene Transfer by Natural Transformation.

    PubMed

    Mao, Junwen; Lu, Ting

    2016-01-01

    Natural transformation is a major mechanism of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and plays an essential role in bacterial adaptation, evolution, and speciation. Although its molecular underpinnings have been increasingly revealed, natural transformation is not well characterized in terms of its quantitative ecological roles. Here, by using Neisseria gonorrhoeae as an example, we developed a population-dynamic model for natural transformation and analyzed its dynamic characteristics with nonlinear tools and simulations. Our study showed that bacteria capable of natural transformation can display distinct population behaviors ranging from extinction to coexistence and to bistability, depending on their HGT rate and selection coefficient. With the model, we also illustrated the roles of environmental DNA sources-active secretion and passive release-in impacting population dynamics. Additionally, by constructing and utilizing a stochastic version of the model, we examined how noise shapes the steady and dynamic behaviors of the system. Notably, we found that distinct waiting time statistics for HGT events, namely a power-law distribution, an exponential distribution, and a mix of the both, are associated with the dynamics in the regimes of extinction, coexistence, and bistability accordingly. This work offers a quantitative illustration of natural transformation by revealing its complex population dynamics and associated characteristics, therefore advancing our ecological understanding of natural transformation as well as HGT in general. PMID:26745428

  17. Spontaneously induced prophages in Lactobacillus gasseri contribute to horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Baugher, J L; Durmaz, E; Klaenhammer, T R

    2014-06-01

    Lactobacillus gasseri is an endogenous species of the human gastrointestinal tract and vagina. With recent advances in microbial taxonomy, phylogenetics, and genomics, L. gasseri is recognized as an important commensal and is increasingly being used in probiotic formulations. L. gasseri strain ADH is lysogenic and harbors two inducible prophages. In this study, prophage adh was found to spontaneously induce in broth cultures to populations of ∼ 10(7) PFU/ml by stationary phase. The adh prophage-cured ADH derivative NCK102 was found to harbor a new, second inducible phage, vB_Lga_jlb1 (jlb1). Phage jlb1 was sequenced and found to be highly similar to the closely related phage LgaI, which resides as two tandem prophages in the neotype strain L. gasseri ATCC 33323. The common occurrence of multiple prophages in L. gasseri genomes, their propensity for spontaneous induction, and the high degree of homology among phages within multiple species of Lactobacillus suggest that temperate bacteriophages likely contribute to horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in commensal lactobacilli. In this study, the host ranges of phages adh and jlb1 were determined against 16 L. gasseri strains. The transduction range and the rate of spontaneous transduction were investigated in coculture experiments to ascertain the degree to which prophages can promote HGT among a variety of commensal and probiotic lactobacilli. Both adh and jlb1 particles were confirmed to mediate plasmid transfer. As many as ∼10(3) spontaneous transductants/ml were obtained. HGT by transducing phages of commensal lactobacilli may have a significant impact on the evolution of bacteria within the human microbiota. PMID:24682298

  18. Phylogeny Reconstruction with Alignment-Free Method That Corrects for Horizontal Gene Transfer.

    PubMed

    Bromberg, Raquel; Grishin, Nick V; Otwinowski, Zbyszek

    2016-06-01

    Advances in sequencing have generated a large number of complete genomes. Traditionally, phylogenetic analysis relies on alignments of orthologs, but defining orthologs and separating them from paralogs is a complex task that may not always be suited to the large datasets of the future. An alternative to traditional, alignment-based approaches are whole-genome, alignment-free methods. These methods are scalable and require minimal manual intervention. We developed SlopeTree, a new alignment-free method that estimates evolutionary distances by measuring the decay of exact substring matches as a function of match length. SlopeTree corrects for horizontal gene transfer, for composition variation and low complexity sequences, and for branch-length nonlinearity caused by multiple mutations at the same site. We tested SlopeTree on 495 bacteria, 73 archaea, and 72 strains of Escherichia coli and Shigella. We compared our trees to the NCBI taxonomy, to trees based on concatenated alignments, and to trees produced by other alignment-free methods. The results were consistent with current knowledge about prokaryotic evolution. We assessed differences in tree topology over different methods and settings and found that the majority of bacteria and archaea have a core set of proteins that evolves by descent. In trees built from complete genomes rather than sets of core genes, we observed some grouping by phenotype rather than phylogeny, for instance with a cluster of sulfur-reducing thermophilic bacteria coming together irrespective of their phyla. The source-code for SlopeTree is available at: http://prodata.swmed.edu/download/pub/slopetree_v1/slopetree.tar.gz. PMID:27336403

  19. Phylogeny Reconstruction with Alignment-Free Method That Corrects for Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Grishin, Nick V.; Otwinowski, Zbyszek

    2016-01-01

    Advances in sequencing have generated a large number of complete genomes. Traditionally, phylogenetic analysis relies on alignments of orthologs, but defining orthologs and separating them from paralogs is a complex task that may not always be suited to the large datasets of the future. An alternative to traditional, alignment-based approaches are whole-genome, alignment-free methods. These methods are scalable and require minimal manual intervention. We developed SlopeTree, a new alignment-free method that estimates evolutionary distances by measuring the decay of exact substring matches as a function of match length. SlopeTree corrects for horizontal gene transfer, for composition variation and low complexity sequences, and for branch-length nonlinearity caused by multiple mutations at the same site. We tested SlopeTree on 495 bacteria, 73 archaea, and 72 strains of Escherichia coli and Shigella. We compared our trees to the NCBI taxonomy, to trees based on concatenated alignments, and to trees produced by other alignment-free methods. The results were consistent with current knowledge about prokaryotic evolution. We assessed differences in tree topology over different methods and settings and found that the majority of bacteria and archaea have a core set of proteins that evolves by descent. In trees built from complete genomes rather than sets of core genes, we observed some grouping by phenotype rather than phylogeny, for instance with a cluster of sulfur-reducing thermophilic bacteria coming together irrespective of their phyla. The source-code for SlopeTree is available at: http://prodata.swmed.edu/download/pub/slopetree_v1/slopetree.tar.gz. PMID:27336403

  20. The Evolutionary Fate of the Horizontally Transferred Agrobacterial Mikimopine Synthase Gene in the Genera Nicotiana and Linaria

    PubMed Central

    Talianova, Martina; Vyskot, Boris

    2014-01-01

    Few cases of spontaneously horizontally transferred bacterial genes into plant genomes have been described to date. The occurrence of horizontally transferred genes from the T-DNA of Agrobacterium rhizogenes into the plant genome has been reported in the genus Nicotiana and in the species Linaria vulgaris. Here we compare patterns of evolution in one of these genes (a gene encoding mikimopine synthase, mis) following three different events of horizontal gene transfer (HGT). As this gene plays an important role in Agrobacterium, and there are known cases showing that genes from pathogens can acquire plant protection function, we hypothesised that in at least some of the studied species we will find signs of selective pressures influencing mis sequence. The mikimopine synthase (mis) gene evolved in a different manner in the branch leading to Nicotiana tabacum and N. tomentosiformis, in the branch leading to N. glauca and in the genus Linaria. Our analyses of the genus Linaria suggest that the mis gene began to degenerate soon after the HGT. In contrast, in the case of N. glauca, the mis gene evolved under significant selective pressures. This suggests a possible role of mikimopine synthase in current N. glauca and its ancestor(s). In N. tabacum and N. tomentosiformis, the mis gene has a common frameshift mutation that disrupted its open reading frame. Interestingly, our results suggest that in spite of the frameshift, the mis gene could evolve under selective pressures. This sequence may still have some regulatory role at the RNA level as suggested by coverage of this sequence by small RNAs in N. tabacum. PMID:25420106

  1. Survival of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and Horizontal Gene Transfer Control Antibiotic Resistance Gene Content in Anaerobic Digesters

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Jennifer H.; Novak, John T.; Knocke, William R.; Pruden, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Understanding fate of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) vs. their antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) during wastewater sludge treatment is critical in order to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance through process optimization. Here, we spiked high concentrations of tetracycline-resistant bacteria, isolated from mesophilic (Iso M1-1—a Pseudomonas sp.) and thermophilic (Iso T10—a Bacillus sp.) anaerobic digested sludge, into batch digesters and monitored their fate by plate counts and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) of their corresponding tetracycline ARGs. In batch studies, spiked ARB plate counts returned to baseline (thermophilic) or 1-log above baseline (mesophilic) while levels of the ARG present in the spiked isolate [tet(G)] remained high in mesophilic batch reactors. To compare results under semi-continuous flow conditions with natural influent variation, tet(O), tet(W), and sul1 ARGs, along with the intI1 integrase gene, were monitored over a 9-month period in the raw feed sludge and effluent sludge of lab-scale thermophilic and mesophilic anaerobic digesters. sul1 and intI1 in mesophilic and thermophilic digesters correlated positively (Spearman rho = 0.457–0.829, P < 0.05) with the raw feed sludge. There was no correlation in tet(O) or tet(W) ratios in raw sludge and mesophilic digested sludge or thermophilic digested sludge (Spearman rho = 0.130–0.486, P = 0.075–0.612). However, in the thermophilic digester, the tet(O) and tet(W) ratios remained consistently low over the entire monitoring period. We conclude that the influent sludge microbial composition can influence the ARG content of a digester, apparently as a result of differential survival or death of ARBs or horizontal gene transfer of genes between raw sludge ARBs and the digester microbial community. Notably, mesophilic digestion was more susceptible to ARG intrusion than thermophilic digestion, which may be attributed to a higher rate of ARB survival and

  2. Survival of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and Horizontal Gene Transfer Control Antibiotic Resistance Gene Content in Anaerobic Digesters.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jennifer H; Novak, John T; Knocke, William R; Pruden, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Understanding fate of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) vs. their antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) during wastewater sludge treatment is critical in order to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance through process optimization. Here, we spiked high concentrations of tetracycline-resistant bacteria, isolated from mesophilic (Iso M1-1-a Pseudomonas sp.) and thermophilic (Iso T10-a Bacillus sp.) anaerobic digested sludge, into batch digesters and monitored their fate by plate counts and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) of their corresponding tetracycline ARGs. In batch studies, spiked ARB plate counts returned to baseline (thermophilic) or 1-log above baseline (mesophilic) while levels of the ARG present in the spiked isolate [tet(G)] remained high in mesophilic batch reactors. To compare results under semi-continuous flow conditions with natural influent variation, tet(O), tet(W), and sul1 ARGs, along with the intI1 integrase gene, were monitored over a 9-month period in the raw feed sludge and effluent sludge of lab-scale thermophilic and mesophilic anaerobic digesters. sul1 and intI1 in mesophilic and thermophilic digesters correlated positively (Spearman rho = 0.457-0.829, P < 0.05) with the raw feed sludge. There was no correlation in tet(O) or tet(W) ratios in raw sludge and mesophilic digested sludge or thermophilic digested sludge (Spearman rho = 0.130-0.486, P = 0.075-0.612). However, in the thermophilic digester, the tet(O) and tet(W) ratios remained consistently low over the entire monitoring period. We conclude that the influent sludge microbial composition can influence the ARG content of a digester, apparently as a result of differential survival or death of ARBs or horizontal gene transfer of genes between raw sludge ARBs and the digester microbial community. Notably, mesophilic digestion was more susceptible to ARG intrusion than thermophilic digestion, which may be attributed to a higher rate of ARB survival and/or horizontal gene

  3. Contribution of Multiple Inter-Kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers to Evolution and Adaptation of Amphibian-Killing Chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Baofa; Li, Tong; Xiao, Jinhua; Liu, Li; Zhang, Peng; Murphy, Robert W.; He, Shunmin; Huang, Dawei

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT) facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates. Moreover, three probable HGT gene families in Bd are from plants and one gene family coding the ankyrin repeat-containing protein appears to come from oomycetes. The observed multi-copy gene families associated with HGT are probably due to the independent transfer events or gene duplications. Five HGT genes with extracellular locations may relate to infection, and some other genes may participate in a variety of metabolic pathways, and in doing so add important metabolic traits to the recipient. The evolutionary analysis indicates that all the transferred genes evolved under purifying selection, suggesting that their functions in Bd are similar to those of the donors. Collectively, our results indicate that HGT from diverse donors may be an important evolutionary driver of Bd, and improve its adaptations for infecting and colonizing host amphibians.

  4. Horizontal gene transfer from Bacteria to rumen Ciliates indicates adaptation to their anaerobic, carbohydrates-rich environment

    PubMed Central

    Ricard, Guénola; McEwan, Neil R; Dutilh, Bas E; Jouany, Jean-Pierre; Macheboeuf, Didier; Mitsumori, Makoto; McIntosh, Freda M; Michalowski, Tadeusz; Nagamine, Takafumi; Nelson, Nancy; Newbold, Charles J; Nsabimana, Eli; Takenaka, Akio; Thomas, Nadine A; Ushida, Kazunari; Hackstein, Johannes HP; Huynen, Martijn A

    2006-01-01

    Background The horizontal transfer of expressed genes from Bacteria into Ciliates which live in close contact with each other in the rumen (the foregut of ruminants) was studied using ciliate Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs). More than 4000 ESTs were sequenced from representatives of the two major groups of rumen Cilates: the order Entodiniomorphida (Entodinium simplex, Entodinium caudatum, Eudiplodinium maggii, Metadinium medium, Diploplastron affine, Polyplastron multivesiculatum and Epidinium ecaudatum) and the order Vestibuliferida, previously called Holotricha (Isotricha prostoma, Isotricha intestinalis and Dasytricha ruminantium). Results A comparison of the sequences with the completely sequenced genomes of Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes, followed by large-scale construction and analysis of phylogenies, identified 148 ciliate genes that specifically cluster with genes from the Bacteria and Archaea. The phylogenetic clustering with bacterial genes, coupled with the absence of close relatives of these genes in the Ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, indicates that they have been acquired via Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) after the colonization of the gut by the rumen Ciliates. Conclusion Among the HGT candidates, we found an over-representation (>75%) of genes involved in metabolism, specifically in the catabolism of complex carbohydrates, a rich food source in the rumen. We propose that the acquisition of these genes has greatly facilitated the Ciliates' colonization of the rumen providing evidence for the role of HGT in the adaptation to new niches. PMID:16472398

  5. The chloroplast genome of the diatom Seminavis robusta: new features introduced through multiple mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Brembu, Tore; Winge, Per; Tooming-Klunderud, Ave; Nederbragt, Alexander J; Jakobsen, Kjetill S; Bones, Atle M

    2014-08-01

    The chloroplasts of heterokont algae such as diatoms are the result of a secondary endosymbiosis event, in which a red alga was engulfed by a non-photosynthetic eukaryote. The diatom chloroplast genomes sequenced to date show a high degree of similarity, but some examples of gene replacement or introduction of genes through horizontal gene transfer are known. The evolutionary origin of the gene transfers is unclear. We have sequenced and characterised the complete chloroplast genome and a putatively chloroplast-associated plasmid of the pennate diatom Seminavis robusta. The chloroplast genome contains two introns, a feature that has not previously been found in diatoms. The group II intron of atpB appears to be recently transferred from a Volvox-like green alga. The S. robusta chloroplast genome (150,905 bp) is the largest diatom chloroplast genome characterised to date, mainly due to the presence of four large gene-poor regions. Open reading frames (ORFs) encoded by the gene-poor regions show similarity to putative proteins encoded by the chloroplast genomes of different heterokonts, as well as the plasmids pCf1 and pCf2 found in the diatom Cylindrotheca fusiformis. A tyrosine recombinase and a serine recombinase are encoded by the S. robusta chloroplast genome, indicating a possible mechanism for the introduction of novel genes. A plasmid with similarity to pCf2 was also identified. Phylogenetic analyses of three ORFs identified on pCf2 suggest that two of them are part of an operon-like gene cluster conserved in bacteria. Several genetic elements have moved through horizontal gene transfer between the chloroplast genomes of different heterokonts. Two recombinases are likely to promote such gene insertion events, and the plasmid identified may act as vectors in this process. The copy number of the plasmid was similar to that of the plastid genome indicating a plastid localization. PMID:24365712

  6. Extensive horizontal gene transfer, duplication, and loss of chlorophyll synthesis genes in the algae

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hunsperger, Heather M.; Randhawa, Tejinder; Cattolico, Rose Ann

    2015-02-10

    Two non-homologous, isofunctional enzymes catalyze the penultimate step of chlorophyll a synthesis in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria, eukaryotic algae and land plants: the light independent (LIPOR) and light-dependent (POR) protochlorophyllide oxidoreductases. Whereas the distribution of these enzymes in cyanobacteria and land plants is well understood, the presence, loss, duplication, and replacement of these genes have not been surveyed in the polyphyletic and remarkably diverse eukaryotic algal lineages.

  7. Role of horizontal gene transfer as a control on the coevolution of ribosomal proteins and the genetic code

    SciTech Connect

    Woese, Carl R.; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida

    2011-03-31

    Our main goal is to develop the conceptual and computational tools necessary to understand the evolution of the universal processes of translation and replication and to identify events of horizontal gene transfer that occurred within the components. We will attempt to uncover the major evolutionary transitions that accompanied the development of protein synthesis by the ribosome and associated components of the translation apparatus. Our project goes beyond standard genomic approaches to explore homologs that are represented at both the structure and sequence level. Accordingly, use of structural phylogenetic analysis allows us to probe further back into deep evolutionary time than competing approaches, permitting greater resolution of primitive folds and structures. Specifically, our work focuses on the elements of translation, ranging from the emergence of the canonical genetic code to the evolution of specific protein folds, mediated by the predominance of horizontal gene transfer in early life. A unique element of this study is the explicit accounting for the impact of phenotype selection on translation, through a coevolutionary control mechanism. Our work contributes to DOE mission objectives through: (1) sophisticated computer simulation of protein dynamics and evolution, and the further refinement of techniques for structural phylogeny, which complement sequence information, leading to improved annotation of genomic databases; (2) development of evolutionary approaches to exploring cellular function and machinery in an integrated way; and (3) documentation of the phenotype interaction with translation over evolutionary time, reflecting the system response to changing selection pressures through horizontal gene transfer.

  8. Natural horizontal transfer of a naphthalene dioxygenase gene between bacteria native to a coal tar-contaminated field site.

    PubMed Central

    Herrick, J B; Stuart-Keil, K G; Ghiorse, W C; Madsen, E L

    1997-01-01

    Horizontal transfer of genes responsible for pollutant biodegradation may play a key role in the evolution of bacterial populations and the adaptation of microbial communities to environmental contaminants. However, field evidence for horizontal gene transfer between microorganisms has traditionally been very difficult to obtain. In this study, the sequences of the 16S rRNA and naphthalene dioxygenase iron-sulfur protein (nahAc) genes of nine naphthalene-degrading bacteria isolated from a coal tar waste-contaminated site, as well as a naphthalene-degrading bacterium from a contaminated site in Washington state and two archetypal naphthalene-degrading strains, were compared. Seven strains from the study site had a single nahAc allele, whereas the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the strains differed by as much as 7.9%. No nahAc alleles from the site were identical to those of the archetypal strains, although the predominant allele was closely related to that of Pseudomonas putida NCIB 9816-4, isolated in the British Isles. However, one site-derived nahAc allele was identical to that of the Washington state strain. Lack of phylogenetic congruence of the nahAc and 16S rRNA genes indicates that relatively recent in situ horizontal transfer of the nahAc gene has occurred, possibly as a direct or indirect consequence of pollutant contamination. Alkaline lysis plasmid preparations and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis have revealed the presence of plasmids ranging in size from 70 to 88 kb in all site isolates. Southern hybridizations with a 407-bp nahAc probe have suggested that the nahAc gene is plasmid borne in all the site isolates but one, a strain isolated from subsurface sediment 400 m upstream from the source of the other site isolates. In this strain and in the naphthalene-degrading strain from Washington state, nahAc appears to be chromosomally located. In addition, one site isolate may carry nahAc on both chromosome and plasmid. Within the group of bacteria with

  9. Pangenome Evidence for Extensive Interdomain Horizontal Transfer Affecting Lineage Core and Shell Genes in Uncultured Planktonic Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota

    PubMed Central

    Deschamps, Philippe; Zivanovic, Yvan; Moreira, David; Rodriguez-Valera, Francisco; López-García, Purificación

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important force in evolution, which may lead, among other things, to the adaptation to new environments by the import of new metabolic functions. Recent studies based on phylogenetic analyses of a few genome fragments containing archaeal 16S rRNA genes and fosmid-end sequences from deep-sea metagenomic libraries have suggested that marine planktonic archaea could be affected by high HGT frequency. Likewise, a composite genome of an uncultured marine euryarchaeote showed high levels of gene sequence similarity to bacterial genes. In this work, we ask whether HGT is frequent and widespread in genomes of these marine archaea, and whether HGT is an ancient and/or recurrent phenomenon. To answer these questions, we sequenced 997 fosmid archaeal clones from metagenomic libraries of deep-Mediterranean waters (1,000 and 3,000 m depth) and built comprehensive pangenomes for planktonic Thaumarchaeota (Group I archaea) and Euryarchaeota belonging to the uncultured Groups II and III Euryarchaeota (GII/III-Euryarchaeota). Comparison with available reference genomes of Thaumarchaeota and a composite marine surface euryarchaeote genome allowed us to define sets of core, lineage-specific core, and shell gene ortholog clusters for the two archaeal lineages. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of all gene clusters showed that 23.9% of marine Thaumarchaeota genes and 29.7% of GII/III-Euryarchaeota genes had been horizontally acquired from bacteria. HGT is not only extensive and directional but also ongoing, with high HGT levels in lineage-specific core (ancient transfers) and shell (recent transfers) genes. Many of the acquired genes are related to metabolism and membrane biogenesis, suggesting an adaptive value for life in cold, oligotrophic oceans. We hypothesize that the acquisition of an important amount of foreign genes by the ancestors of these archaeal groups significantly contributed to their divergence and ecological success. PMID:24923324

  10. Microsporidia: Eukaryotic Intracellular Parasites Shaped by Gene Loss and Horizontal Gene Transfers.

    PubMed

    Corradi, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Microsporidia are eukaryotic parasites of many animals that appear to have adapted to an obligate intracellular lifestyle by modifying the morphology and content of their cells. Living inside other cells, they have lost many, or all, metabolic functions, resulting in genomes that are always gene poor and often very small. The minute content of microsporidian genomes led many to assume that these parasites are biochemically static and uninteresting. However, recent studies have demonstrated that these organisms can be surprisingly complex and dynamic. In this review I detail the most significant recent advances in microsporidian genomics and discuss how these have affected our understanding of many biological aspects of these peculiar eukaryotic intracellular pathogens. PMID:26195306

  11. Highly variable individual donor cell fates characterize robust horizontal gene transfer of an integrative and conjugative element

    PubMed Central

    Delavat, François; Mitri, Sara; Pelet, Serge; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is an important evolutionary mechanism for bacterial adaptation. However, given the typical low transfer frequencies in a bacterial population, little is known about the fate and interplay of donor cells and the mobilized DNA during transfer. Here we study transfer of an integrative and conjugative element (ICE) among individual live bacterial cells. ICEs are widely distributed mobile DNA elements that are different than plasmids because they reside silent in the host chromosome and are maintained through vertical descent. Occasionally, ICEs become active, excise, and transmit their DNA to a new recipient, where it is reintegrated. We develop a fluorescent tool to differentiate excision, transfer, and reintegration of a model ICE named ICEclc (for carrying the clc genes for chlorocatechol metabolism) among single Pseudomonas cells by using time-lapse microscopy. We find that ICEclc activation is initiated in stationary phase cells, but excision and transfer predominantly occur only when such cells have been presented with new nutrients. Donors with activated ICE develop a number of different states, characterized by reduced cell division rates or growth arrest, persistence, or lysis, concomitant with ICE excision, and likely, ICE loss or replication. The donor cell state transitions can be described by using a stochastic model, which predicts that ICE fitness is optimal at low initiation rates in stationary phase. Despite highly variable donor cell fates, ICE transfer is remarkably robust overall, with 75% success after excision. Our results help to better understand ICE behavior and shed a new light on bacterial cellular differentiation during horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27247406

  12. Highly variable individual donor cell fates characterize robust horizontal gene transfer of an integrative and conjugative element.

    PubMed

    Delavat, François; Mitri, Sara; Pelet, Serge; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-06-14

    Horizontal gene transfer is an important evolutionary mechanism for bacterial adaptation. However, given the typical low transfer frequencies in a bacterial population, little is known about the fate and interplay of donor cells and the mobilized DNA during transfer. Here we study transfer of an integrative and conjugative element (ICE) among individual live bacterial cells. ICEs are widely distributed mobile DNA elements that are different than plasmids because they reside silent in the host chromosome and are maintained through vertical descent. Occasionally, ICEs become active, excise, and transmit their DNA to a new recipient, where it is reintegrated. We develop a fluorescent tool to differentiate excision, transfer, and reintegration of a model ICE named ICEclc (for carrying the clc genes for chlorocatechol metabolism) among single Pseudomonas cells by using time-lapse microscopy. We find that ICEclc activation is initiated in stationary phase cells, but excision and transfer predominantly occur only when such cells have been presented with new nutrients. Donors with activated ICE develop a number of different states, characterized by reduced cell division rates or growth arrest, persistence, or lysis, concomitant with ICE excision, and likely, ICE loss or replication. The donor cell state transitions can be described by using a stochastic model, which predicts that ICE fitness is optimal at low initiation rates in stationary phase. Despite highly variable donor cell fates, ICE transfer is remarkably robust overall, with 75% success after excision. Our results help to better understand ICE behavior and shed a new light on bacterial cellular differentiation during horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27247406

  13. Gene Loss and Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributed to the Genome Evolution of the Extreme Acidophile “Ferrovum”

    PubMed Central

    Ullrich, Sophie R.; González, Carolina; Poehlein, Anja; Tischler, Judith S.; Daniel, Rolf; Schlömann, Michael; Holmes, David S.; Mühling, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD), associated with active and abandoned mining sites, is a habitat for acidophilic microorganisms that gain energy from the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds and ferrous iron and that thrive at pH below 4. Members of the recently proposed genus “Ferrovum” are the first acidophilic iron oxidizers to be described within the Betaproteobacteria. Although they have been detected as typical community members in AMD habitats worldwide, knowledge of their phylogenetic and metabolic diversity is scarce. Genomics approaches appear to be most promising in addressing this lacuna since isolation and cultivation of “Ferrovum” has proven to be extremely difficult and has so far only been successful for the designated type strain “Ferrovum myxofaciens” P3G. In this study, the genomes of two novel strains of “Ferrovum” (PN-J185 and Z-31) derived from water samples of a mine water treatment plant were sequenced. These genomes were compared with those of “Ferrovum” sp. JA12 that also originated from the mine water treatment plant, and of the type strain (P3G). Phylogenomic scrutiny suggests that the four strains represent three “Ferrovum” species that cluster in two groups (1 and 2). Comprehensive analysis of their predicted metabolic pathways revealed that these groups harbor characteristic metabolic profiles, notably with respect to motility, chemotaxis, nitrogen metabolism, biofilm formation and their potential strategies to cope with the acidic environment. For example, while the “F. myxofaciens” strains (group 1) appear to be motile and diazotrophic, the non-motile group 2 strains have the predicted potential to use a greater variety of fixed nitrogen sources. Furthermore, analysis of their genome synteny provides first insights into their genome evolution, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer and genome reduction in the group 2 strains by loss of genes encoding complete metabolic pathways or physiological features

  14. Monitoring of horizontal gene transfer from agricultural microorganisms to soil bacteria and analysis of microbial community in soils.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Eun; Moon, Jae Sun; Choi, Won Sik; Lee, Sang Han; Kim, Sung Uk

    2012-04-01

    To investigate the possibility of horizontal gene transfer between agricultural microorganisms and soil microorganisms in the environment, Bacillus subtilis KB producing iturin and the PGPR recombinant strain Pseudomonas fluorescens MX1 were used as model microorganisms. The soil samples of cucumber or tomato plants cultivated in pots and the greenhouse for a six month period were investigated by PCR, real-time PCR, Southern hybridization, and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) fingerprinting. Our data from Southern blotting and TRFLP patterns suggest that the model bacteria do not give significant impacts on the other bacteria in the pots and greenhouse during cultivation. PMID:22534306

  15. Gene Activation through the Modulation of Nucleoid Structures by a Horizontally Transferred Regulator, Pch, in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Fukui, Naoki; Oshima, Taku; Ueda, Takeshi; Ogasawara, Naotake; Tobe, Toru

    2016-01-01

    The horizontally transferred chromosomal segments, which are the main source of genetic diversity among bacterial pathogens, are bound by the nucleoid protein H-NS, resulting in the formation of a nucleoprotein complex and the silencing of gene expression. The de-silencing or activation of virulence genes necessary for the colonization of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli is achieved mainly by the action of two regulators, Pch and Ler, which are encoded by horizontally transferred elements. Although Ler has been shown to activate transcription by counteracting H-NS silencing, the mechanism for Pch is poorly understood. We show here that Pch activates the LEE1 promoter and also enhances the Ler-mediated activation of other LEE promoters. Transcriptional activation was completely dependent on repression by the H-NS/StpA/Hha/YdgT complex, indicating that Pch-derived activation was achieved by alleviating H-NS-mediated silencing. Expression of pch reduced the binding of H-NS at LEE1 promoter and altered the nucleoprotein complex. Furthermore, in vitro reconstruction of the protein-DNA complex on LEE1 promoter DNA confirmed the exclusive effect of Pch on H-NS binding. These results demonstrated that Pch is another anti-silencing regulator and a modulator of H-NS-containing nucleoprotein complexes. Thus, the anti-silencing mechanism plays a key role in the coordinated regulation of virulence genes in EHEC. PMID:26901318

  16. Gene Activation through the Modulation of Nucleoid Structures by a Horizontally Transferred Regulator, Pch, in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Fukui, Naoki; Oshima, Taku; Ueda, Takeshi; Ogasawara, Naotake; Tobe, Toru

    2016-01-01

    The horizontally transferred chromosomal segments, which are the main source of genetic diversity among bacterial pathogens, are bound by the nucleoid protein H-NS, resulting in the formation of a nucleoprotein complex and the silencing of gene expression. The de-silencing or activation of virulence genes necessary for the colonization of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli is achieved mainly by the action of two regulators, Pch and Ler, which are encoded by horizontally transferred elements. Although Ler has been shown to activate transcription by counteracting H-NS silencing, the mechanism for Pch is poorly understood. We show here that Pch activates the LEE1 promoter and also enhances the Ler-mediated activation of other LEE promoters. Transcriptional activation was completely dependent on repression by the H-NS/StpA/Hha/YdgT complex, indicating that Pch-derived activation was achieved by alleviating H-NS-mediated silencing. Expression of pch reduced the binding of H-NS at LEE1 promoter and altered the nucleoprotein complex. Furthermore, in vitro reconstruction of the protein-DNA complex on LEE1 promoter DNA confirmed the exclusive effect of Pch on H-NS binding. These results demonstrated that Pch is another anti-silencing regulator and a modulator of H-NS-containing nucleoprotein complexes. Thus, the anti-silencing mechanism plays a key role in the coordinated regulation of virulence genes in EHEC. PMID:26901318

  17. Evidence for Natural Horizontal Transfer of the pcpB Gene in the Evolution of Polychlorophenol-Degrading Sphingomonads

    PubMed Central

    Tiirola, Marja A.; Wang, Hong; Paulin, Lars; Kulomaa, Markku S.

    2002-01-01

    The chlorophenol degradation pathway in Sphingobium chlorophenolicum is initiated by the pcpB gene product, pentachlorophenol-4-monooxygenase. The distribution of the gene was studied in a phylogenetically diverse group of polychlorophenol-degrading bacteria isolated from contaminated groundwater in Kärkölä, Finland. All the sphingomonads isolated were shown to share pcpB gene homologs with 98.9 to 100% sequence identity. The gene product was expressed when the strains were induced by 2,3,4,6-tetrachlorophenol. A comparative analysis of the 16S rDNA and pcpB gene trees suggested that a recent horizontal transfer of the pcpB gene was involved in the evolution of the catabolic pathway in the Kärkölä sphingomonads. The full-length Kärkölä pcpB gene allele had approximately 70% identity with the three pcpB genes previously sequenced from sphingomonads. It was very closely related to the environmental clones obtained from chlorophenol-enriched soil samples (M. Beaulieu, V. Becaert, L. Deschenes, and R. Villemur, Microbiol. Ecol. 40:345-355, 2000). The gene was not present in polychlorophenol-degrading nonsphingomonads isolated from the Kärkölä source. PMID:12200305

  18. Genome of the facultative scuticociliatosis pathogen Pseudocohnilembus persalinus provides insight into its virulence through horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Jie; Wang, Guangying; Cheng, Jun; Tian, Miao; Pan, Xuming; Warren, Alan; Jiang, Chuanqi; Yuan, Dongxia; Miao, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Certain ciliates of the subclass Scuticociliatia (scuticociliates) are facultative parasites of fishes in which they cause a suite of diseases collectively termed scuticociliatosis. Hitherto, comparatively little was known about genetics and genomics of scuticociliates or the mechanism of scuticociliatosis. In this study, a laboratory culture of the facultatively pathogenic scuticociliate Pseudocohnilembus persalinus was established and its genome sequenced, giving the first genome of a marine ciliate. Genome-wide horizontal gene transfer (HGT) analysis showed P. persalinus has acquired many unique prokaryote-derived genes that potentially contribute to the virulence of this organism, including cell adhesion, hemolysis and heme utilization genes. These findings give new insights into our understanding of the pathology of scuticociliates. PMID:26486372

  19. Horizontal gene transfer from macrophages to ischemic muscles upon delivery of naked DNA with Pluronic block copolymers.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Vivek; Gaymalov, Zagit; Alakhova, Daria; Gupta, Richa; Zucker, Irving H; Kabanov, Alexander V

    2016-01-01

    Intramuscular administration of plasmid DNA (pDNA) with non-ionic Pluronic block copolymers increases gene expression in injected muscles and lymphoid organs. We studied the role of immune cells in muscle transfection upon inflammation. Local inflammation in murine hind limb ischemia model (MHLIM) drastically increased DNA, RNA and expressed protein levels in ischemic muscles injected with pDNA/Pluronic. The systemic inflammation (MHLIM or peritonitis) also increased expression of pDNA/Pluronic in the muscles. When pDNA/Pluronic was injected in ischemic muscles the reporter gene, Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) co-localized with desmin(+) muscle fibers and CD11b(+) macrophages (MØs), suggesting transfection of MØs along with the muscle cells. P85 enhanced (∼ 4 orders) transfection of MØs with pDNA in vitro. Moreover, adoptively transferred MØs were shown to pass the transgene to inflamed muscle cells in MHLIM. Using a co-culture of myotubes (MTs) and transfected MØs expressing a reporter gene under constitutive (cmv-luciferase) or muscle specific (desmin-luciferase) promoter we demonstrated that P85 enhances horizontal gene transfer from MØ to MTs. Therefore, MØs can play an important role in muscle transfection with pDNA/Pluronic during inflammation, with both inflammation and Pluronic contributing to the increased gene expression. pDNA/Pluronic has potential for therapeutic gene delivery in muscle pathologies that involve inflammation. PMID:26480472

  20. Genetic Diversity and Horizontal Transfer of Genes Involved in Oxidation of Reduced Phosphorus Compounds by Alcaligenes faecalis WM2072

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Marlena M.; Metcalf, William W.

    2005-01-01

    Enrichment was performed to isolate organisms that could utilize reduced phosphorus compounds as their sole phosphorus sources. One isolate that grew well with either hypophosphite or phosphite was identified by 16S rRNA gene analysis as a strain of Alcaligenes faecalis. The genes required for oxidation of hypophosphite and phosphite by this organism were identified by using transposon mutagenesis and include homologs of the ptxD and htxA genes of Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88, which encode an NAD-dependent phosphite dehydrogenase (PtxD) and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent hypophosphite dioxygenase (HtxA). This organism also has the htxB, htxC, and htxD genes that comprise an ABC-type transporter, presumably for hypophosphite and phosphite transport. The role of these genes in reduced phosphorus metabolism was confirmed by analyzing the growth of mutants in which these genes were deleted. Sequencing data showed that htxA, htxB, htxC, and htxD are virtually identical to their homologs in P. stutzeri at the DNA level, indicating that horizontal gene transfer occurred. However, A. faecalis ptxD is very different from its P. stutzeri homolog and represents a new ptxD lineage. Therefore, this gene has ancient evolutionary roots in bacteria. These data suggest that there is strong evolutionary selection for the ability of microorganisms to oxidize hypophosphite and phosphite. PMID:15640200

  1. Root parasitic plant Orobanche aegyptiaca and shoot parasitic plant Cuscuta australis obtained Brassicaceae-specific strictosidine synthase-like genes by horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Besides gene duplication and de novo gene generation, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is another important way of acquiring new genes. HGT may endow the recipients with novel phenotypic traits that are important for species evolution and adaption to new ecological niches. Parasitic systems expectedly allow the occurrence of HGT at relatively high frequencies due to their long-term physical contact. In plants, a number of HGT events have been reported between the organelles of parasites and the hosts, but HGT between host and parasite nuclear genomes has rarely been found. Results A thorough transcriptome screening revealed that a strictosidine synthase-like (SSL) gene in the root parasitic plant Orobanche aegyptiaca and the shoot parasitic plant Cuscuta australis showed much higher sequence similarities with those in Brassicaceae than with those in their close relatives, suggesting independent gene horizontal transfer events from Brassicaceae to these parasites. These findings were strongly supported by phylogenetic analysis and their identical unique amino acid residues and deletions. Intriguingly, the nucleus-located SSL genes in Brassicaceae belonged to a new member of SSL gene family, which were originated from gene duplication. The presence of introns indicated that the transfer occurred directly by DNA integration in both parasites. Furthermore, positive selection was detected in the foreign SSL gene in O. aegyptiaca but not in C. australis. The expression of the foreign SSL genes in these two parasitic plants was detected in multiple development stages and tissues, and the foreign SSL gene was induced after wounding treatment in C. australis stems. These data imply that the foreign genes may still retain certain functions in the recipient species. Conclusions Our study strongly supports that parasitic plants can gain novel nuclear genes from distantly related host species by HGT and the foreign genes may execute certain functions in the new hosts

  2. Multiple Origins of Eukaryotic cox15 Suggest Horizontal Gene Transfer from Bacteria to Jakobid Mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    He, Ding; Fu, Cheng-Jie; Baldauf, Sandra L

    2016-01-01

    The most gene-rich and bacterial-like mitochondrial genomes known are those of Jakobida (Excavata). Of these, the most extreme example to date is the Andalucia godoyi mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), including a cox15 gene encoding the respiratory enzyme heme A synthase (HAS), which is nuclear-encoded in nearly all other mitochondriate eukaryotes. Thus cox15 in eukaryotes appears to be a classic example of mitochondrion-to-nucleus (endosymbiotic) gene transfer, with A. godoyi uniquely retaining the ancestral state. However, our analyses reveal two highly distinct HAS types (encoded by cox15-1 and cox15-2 genes) and identify A. godoyi mitochondrial cox15-encoded HAS as type-1 and all other eukaryotic cox15-encoded HAS as type-2. Molecular phylogeny places the two HAS types in widely separated clades with eukaryotic type-2 HAS clustering with the bulk of α-proteobacteria (>670 sequences), whereas A. godoyi type-1 HAS clusters with an eclectic set of bacteria and archaea including two α-proteobacteria missing from the type-2 clade. This wide phylogenetic separation of the two HAS types is reinforced by unique features of their predicted protein structures. Meanwhile, RNA-sequencing and genomic analyses fail to detect either cox15 type in the nuclear genome of any jakobid including A. godoyi. This suggests that not only is cox15-1 a relatively recent acquisition unique to the Andalucia lineage but also the jakobid last common ancestor probably lacked both cox15 types. These results indicate that uptake of foreign genes by mtDNA is more taxonomically widespread than previously thought. They also caution against the assumption that all α-proteobacterial-like features of eukaryotes are ancient remnants of endosymbiosis. PMID:26412445

  3. Evolution of the syntrophic interaction between Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Methanosarcina barkeri: involvement of an ancient horizontal gene transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Scholten, Johannes C.; Culley, David E.; Brockman, Fred J.; Wu, Gang; Zhang, Weiwen

    2007-01-05

    The sulfate reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio vulgaris and the methanogenic archaea Methanosarcina barkeri can grow syntrophically on lactate. In this study, three functionally unknown genes of D. vulgaris, DVU2103, DVU2104 and DVU2108, were found to be up-regulated 2-4 fold following the lifestyle shift from syntroph to sulfatereducer; moreover, none of these genes were regulated when D. vulgaris was grown alone in various pure culture conditions. These results suggest that these genes may play roles related to the lifestyle change of D. vulgaris from syntroph to sulfate reducer. This hypothesis is further supported by phylogenomic analyses showing that homologies of these genes were only narrowly present in several groups of bacteria, most of which are restricted to a syntrophic life-style, such as Pelobacter carbinolicus, Syntrophobacter fumaroxidans, Syntrophomonas wolfei and Syntrophus aciditrophicus. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the genes tended to be clustered with archaeal genera, and they were rooted on archaeal species in the phylogenetic trees, suggesting that they originated from an archaeal methanogen and were horizontally transferred to a common ancestor of delta- Proteobacteria, Clostridia and Thermotogae. While lost in most species during evolution, these genes appear to have been retained in bacteria capable of syntrophic relationships, probably due to their providing a selective advantage. In addition, no significant bias in codon and amino acid usages was detected between these genes and the rest of the D. vulgaris genome, suggesting these gene transfers may have occurred early in the evolutionary history so that sufficient time has elapsed to allow an adaptation to the codon and amino acid usages of D. vulgaris. This report provides novel insights into the origin and evolution of bacterial genes involved in the syntrophic lifestyle.

  4. Genome analysis and gene nblA identification of Microcystis aeruginosa myovirus (MaMV-DC) reveal the evidence for horizontal gene transfer events between cyanomyovirus and host.

    PubMed

    Ou, Tong; Gao, Xiao-Chan; Li, San-Hua; Zhang, Qi-Ya

    2015-12-01

    The genome sequence, genetic characterization and nblA gene function of Microcystis aeruginosa myovirus isolated from Lake Dianchi in China (MaMV-DC) have been analysed. The genome DNA is 169 223 bp long, with 170 predicted protein-coding genes (001L–170L) and a tRNA gene. About one-sixth of these genes have homologues in the host cyanobacteria M. aeruginosa. The genome carries a gene homologous to host nblA, which encodes a protein involved in the degradation of cyanobacterial phycobilisome. Its expression during MaMV-DC infection was confirmed by reverse transcriptase PCR and Western blot detection and abundant expression was companied by the significant decline of phycocyanin content and massive release of progeny MaMV-DC. In addition, expressing MaMV-DC nblA reduced the phycocyanin peak and the phycocyanin to chlorophyll ratio in model cyanobacteria. These results confirm that horizontal gene transfer events have occurred between cyanobacterial host and cyanomyovirus and suggest that MaMV-DC carrying host-derived genes (such as 005L, that codes for NblA) is responsible for more efficient expression of cyanophage genes and release of progeny cyanophage. This study provides novel insight into the horizontal gene transfer in cyanophage and the interactions between cyanophage and their host. PMID:26399243

  5. The horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes is enhanced by ionic liquid with different structure of varying alkyl chain length

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing; Lu, Qian; Mao, Daqing; Cui, Yuxiao; Luo, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have become a global health concern. In our previous study, an ionic liquid (IL) 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([BMIm][PF6]) had been proven to facilitate the dissemination of ARGs in the environment. However, enhanced alkyl group chain length or the substitution of alkyl groups with the cation ring corresponded with increased antimicrobial effects. In this study, we investigated how different structures of ILs with 4, 6, and 8 C atoms in the longer alkyl chain on the imidazolium cations facilitated the dissemination of ARGs. The promotion of plasmid RP4 transfer frequency decreased with [CnMIM][BF4] increasing the alkyl chain length from 4 carbon atoms to 8 carbon atoms on the imidazolium cations, which is observed with [BMIM][BF4] (n = 4, 5.9 fold) > HMIM][BF4] (n = 6, 2.2 fold) > [OMIM][BF4] (n = 8, 1.7 fold). This illustrates that [CnMIM][BF4] with increasing the alkyl chain length exert decreasing ability in facilitating plasmid RP4 horizontal transfer, which is possibly related to IL-structure dependent toxicity. The IL-structure dependent plasmid RP4 transfer frequency was attributable to bacterial cell membrane permeability weaken with increasing alkyl chain length of [CnMIM][PF4], which was evidenced by flow cytometry. In freshwater microcosm, [CnMIm][BF4] promoted the relative abundance of the sulI and intI genes for 4.6 folds, aphA and traF for 5.2 folds higher than the untreated groups, promoting the propagation of ARGs in the aquatic environment. This is the first report that ILs with different structure of varying alkyl chain length facilitate horizontal transfer of plasmid RP4 which is widely distributed in the environment, and thus add the adverse effects of the environmental risk of ILs. PMID:26379641

  6. {open_quotes}Horizontal{close_quotes} gene transfer from a transgenic potato line to a bacterial pathogen (Erwinia chrysanthemi) occurs - if at all - at an extremely low frequency

    SciTech Connect

    Schlueter, K.; Fuetterer, J.; Potrykus, I.

    1995-10-01

    The frequency of possible {open_quotes}horizontal{close_quotes} gene transfer between a plant and a tightly associated bacterial pathogen was studied in a model system consisting of transgenic Solanum tuberosum, containing a {beta}-lactamase gene linked to a pBR322 origin of replication, and Erwinia chrysanthemi. This experimental system offers optimal conditions for the detection of possible horizontal gene transfer events, even when they occur at very low frequency. Horizontal gene transfer was not detected under conditions mimicking a {open_quotes}natural{close_quotes} infection. The gradual, stepwise alteration of artificial, positive control conditions to idealized natural conditions, however, allowed the characterization of factors that affected gene transfer, and revealed a gradual decrease of the gene transfer frequency from 6.3 x 10{sup -2} under optimal control conditions to a calculated 2.0 x 10{sub -17} under idealized natural conditions. These data, in combination with other published studies, argue that horizontal gene transfer is so rare as to be essentially irrelevant to any realistic assessment of the risk involved in release experiments involving transgenic plants. 22 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Comparative genomics analysis of pKF3-94 in Klebsiella pneumoniae reveals plasmid compatibility and horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Ying, Jianchao; Wu, Songquan; Zhang, Kaibo; Wang, Ziqiang; Zhu, Wen; Zhu, Mei; Zhang, Ying; Cheng, Cong; Wang, Huifeng; Tou, Huifen; Zhu, Chuanxin; Li, Peizhen; Ying, Jun; Xu, Teng; Yi, Huiguang; Li, Jinsong; Ni, Liyan; Xu, Zuyuan; Bao, Qiyu; Lu, Junwan

    2015-01-01

    In order to get insights into plasmid evolution and the dissemination of multidrug resistance, we performed extensive comparative genomics analyses of the Klebsiella pneumoniae plasmid pKF3-94 and some of its related plasmids. pKF3-94 is one of three plasmids isolated from the K. pneumoniae strain KF3. Of the 144 putative genes it harbors, 69 can be functionally assigned to be involved in transfer conjugation, transfer leading, antimicrobial resistance, transposon function, and plasmid replication. Comparison of plasmid replicon sequence types revealed that pKF3-94 carries two replicons that are distinct from those carried on the two sibling K. pneumonia plasmids pKF3-70 and pKF3-140, thereby allowing pKF3-94 to coexist with these latter plasmids in the same host cell. Comparative genomics analyses further showed that pKF3-94 is more similar to plasmids pK1HV and pC15-k, which were isolated from different K. pneumonia strains, than to pKF3-70 and pKF3-140. Interestingly, pK1HV contains a unique 49 kb region rich in mobile genetic elements and drug resistance genes, while pKF3-94 and pC15-k share a 15 kb homology region partitioned into a region rich in drug resistance genes and one containing a replicon. It is conceivable, therefore, that pK1HV and pC15-k have both arisen from a common pKF3-94-like plasmid. The comparisons lend further support for the role horizontal gene transfer plays in genome evolution and in the dissemination of genetic elements including drug resistance genes. PMID:26347723

  8. A Complete Set of Flagellar Genes Acquired by Horizontal Transfer Coexists with the Endogenous Flagellar System in Rhodobacter sphaeroides▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Poggio, Sebastian; Abreu-Goodger, Cei; Fabela, Salvador; Osorio, Aurora; Dreyfus, Georges; Vinuesa, Pablo; Camarena, Laura

    2007-01-01

    Bacteria swim in liquid environments by means of a complex rotating structure known as the flagellum. Approximately 40 proteins are required for the assembly and functionality of this structure. Rhodobacter sphaeroides has two flagellar systems. One of these systems has been shown to be functional and is required for the synthesis of the well-characterized single subpolar flagellum, while the other was found only after the genome sequence of this bacterium was completed. In this work we found that the second flagellar system of R. sphaeroides can be expressed and produces a functional flagellum. In many bacteria with two flagellar systems, one is required for swimming, while the other allows movement in denser environments by producing a large number of flagella over the entire cell surface. In contrast, the second flagellar system of R. sphaeroides produces polar flagella that are required for swimming. Expression of the second set of flagellar genes seems to be positively regulated under anaerobic growth conditions. Phylogenic analysis suggests that the flagellar system that was initially characterized was in fact acquired by horizontal transfer from a γ-proteobacterium, while the second flagellar system contains the native genes. Interestingly, other α-proteobacteria closely related to R. sphaeroides have also acquired a set of flagellar genes similar to the set found in R. sphaeroides, suggesting that a common ancestor received this gene cluster. PMID:17293429

  9. Two recombination-dependent DNA replication pathways of bacteriophage T4, and their roles in mutagenesis and horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Mosig, Gisela; Gewin, John; Luder, Andreas; Colowick, Nancy; Vo, Daniel

    2001-01-01

    Two major pathways of recombination-dependent DNA replication, “join-copy” and “join-cut-copy,” can be distinguished in phage T4: join-copy requires only early and middle genes, but two late proteins, endonuclease VII and terminase, are uniquely important in the join-cut-copy pathway. In wild-type T4, timing of these pathways is integrated with the developmental program and related to transcription and packaging of DNA. In primase mutants, which are defective in origin-dependent lagging-strand DNA synthesis, the late pathway can bypass the lack of primers for lagging-strand DNA synthesis. The exquisitely regulated synthesis of endo VII, and of two proteins from its gene, explains the delay of recombination-dependent DNA replication in primase (as well as topoisomerase) mutants, and the temperature-dependence of the delay. Other proteins (e.g., the single-stranded DNA binding protein and the products of genes 46 and 47) are important in all recombination pathways, but they interact differently with other proteins in different pathways. These homologous recombination pathways contribute to evolution because they facilitate acquisition of any foreign DNA with limited sequence homology during horizontal gene transfer, without requiring transposition or site-specific recombination functions. Partial heteroduplex repair can generate what appears to be multiple mutations from a single recombinational intermediate. The resulting sequence divergence generates barriers to formation of viable recombinants. The multiple sequence changes can also lead to erroneous estimates in phylogenetic analyses. PMID:11459968

  10. Natural transformation as a mechanism of horizontal gene transfer among environmental Aeromonas species.

    PubMed

    Huddleston, Jennifer R; Brokaw, Joshua M; Zak, John C; Jeter, Randall M

    2013-06-01

    Aeromonas species are common inhabitants of aquatic environments and relevant as human pathogens. Their potential as pathogens may be related in part to lateral transfer of genes associated with toxin production, biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance, and other virulence determinants. Natural transformation has not been characterized in aeromonads. DNA from wild-type, prototrophic strains that had been isolated from environmental sources was used as donor DNA in transformation assays with auxotrophs as the recipients. Competence was induced in 20% nutrient broth during the stationary phase of growth. Optimal transformation assay conditions for one chosen isolate were in Tris buffer with magnesium or calcium, pH 5-8, and a saturating concentration of 0.5 μg of DNA per assay (3.3 ng of DNA μl⁻¹) at 30°C. Sodium was also required and could not be replaced with ammonium, potassium, or lithium. The maximal transformation frequency observed was 1.95 × 10⁻³ transformants (recipient cell)⁻¹. A survey of environmental Aeromonas auxotrophic recipients (n=37), assayed with donor DNA from other wild-type environmental aeromonads under optimal assay conditions, demonstrated that 73% were able to act as recipients, and 100% were able to act as donors to at least some other aeromonads. Three different transformation groups were identified based on each isolates' ability to transform other strains with its DNA. The transformation groups roughly corresponded to phylogenetic groups. These results demonstrate that natural transformation is a general property of Aeromonas environmental isolates with implications for the genetic structures of coincident Aeromonas populations. PMID:23541366

  11. GTOs and HGT: genes are older than expected and can be installed by horizontal gene transfer, especially with help from viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klyce, Brig

    2012-10-01

    The origin of life on Earth took a puzzlingly short time. Panspermia is appealing because it means that the origin of life need not be confined to a few million years on one planet. Similar puzzles arise in the evolution of higher life forms. Punctuated equilibrium, for example, seems to violate the darwinian account of gradual evolution by trial-and-error, a few DNA nucleotides at a time. The strong version of panspermia alleviates this puzzle as well. If all of life comes ultimately from space, genes may appear to be older than necessary, evolution by the acquisition of whole genes or suites of genes, by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), becomes much more important, and punctuated equilibrium is not surprising. Does evidence support this supposition? How common are old genes? How important is HGT versus the gradual composition of genetic programs? We will look at these questions.

  12. Evidence for horizontal gene transfer between Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydia phage

    PubMed Central

    Rosenwald, Anne G; Murray, Bradley; Toth, Theodore; Madupu, Ramana; Kyrillos, Alexandra; Arora, Gaurav

    2014-01-01

    Chlamydia-infecting bacteriophages, members of the Microviridae family, specifically the Gokushovirinae subfamily, are small (4.5–5 kb) single-stranded circles with 8–10 open-reading frames similar to E. coli phage ϕX174. Using sequence information found in GenBank, we examined related genes in Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydia-infecting bacteriophages. The 5 completely sequenced C. pneumoniae strains contain a gene orthologous to a phage gene annotated as the putative replication initiation protein (PRIP, also called VP4), which is not found in any other members of the Chlamydiaceae family sequenced to date. The C. pneumoniae strain infecting koalas, LPCoLN, in addition contains another region orthologous to phage sequences derived from the minor capsid protein gene, VP3. Phylogenetically, the phage PRIP sequences are more diverse than the bacterial PRIP sequences; nevertheless, the bacterial sequences and the phage sequences each cluster together in their own clade. Finally, we found evidence for another Microviridae phage-related gene, the major capsid protein gene, VP1 in a number of other bacterial species and 2 eukaryotes, the woodland strawberry and a nematode. Thus, we find considerable evidence for DNA sequences related to genes found in bacteriophages of the Microviridae family not only in a variety of prokaryotic but also eukaryotic species. PMID:26713222

  13. Ecological Overlap and Horizontal Gene Transfer in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis

    PubMed Central

    Méric, Guillaume; Miragaia, Maria; de Been, Mark; Yahara, Koji; Pascoe, Ben; Mageiros, Leonardos; Mikhail, Jane; Harris, Llinos G.; Wilkinson, Thomas S.; Rolo, Joana; Lamble, Sarah; Bray, James E.; Jolley, Keith A.; Hanage, William P.; Bowden, Rory; Maiden, Martin C.J.; Mack, Dietrich; de Lencastre, Hermínia; Feil, Edward J.; Corander, Jukka; Sheppard, Samuel K.

    2015-01-01

    The opportunistic pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis represent major causes of severe nosocomial infection, and are associated with high levels of mortality and morbidity worldwide. These species are both common commensals on the human skin and in the nasal pharynx, but are genetically distinct, differing at 24% average nucleotide divergence in 1,478 core genes. To better understand the genome dynamics of these ecologically similar staphylococcal species, we carried out a comparative analysis of 324 S. aureus and S. epidermidis genomes, including 83 novel S. epidermidis sequences. A reference pan-genome approach and whole genome multilocus-sequence typing revealed that around half of the genome was shared between the species. Based on a BratNextGen analysis, homologous recombination was found to have impacted on 40% of the core genes in S. epidermidis, but on only 24% of the core genes in S. aureus. Homologous recombination between the species is rare, with a maximum of nine gene alleles shared between any two S. epidermidis and S. aureus isolates. In contrast, there was considerable interspecies admixture of mobile elements, in particular genes associated with the SaPIn1 pathogenicity island, metal detoxification, and the methicillin-resistance island SCCmec. Our data and analysis provide a context for considering the nature of recombinational boundaries between S. aureus and S. epidermidis and, the selective forces that influence realized recombination between these species. PMID:25888688

  14. Regions of Unusual Statistical Properties as Tools in the Search for Horizontally Transferred Genes in Escherichia coli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putonti, Catherine; Chumakov, Sergei; Chavez, Arturo; Luo, Yi; Graur, Dan; Fox, George E.; Fofanov, Yuriy

    2006-09-01

    The observed diversity of statistical characteristics along genomic sequences is the result of the influences of a variety of ongoing processes including horizontal gene transfer, gene loss, genome rearrangements, and evolution. The rate at which various processes affect the genome typically varies between different genomic regions. Thus, variations in statistical properties seen in different regions of a genome are often associated with its evolution and functional organization. Analysis of such properties is therefore relevant to many ongoing biomedical research efforts. Similarity Plot or S-plot is a Windows-based application for large-scale comparisons and 2D visualization of similarities between genomic sequences. This application combines two approaches wildly used in genomics: window analysis of statistical characteristics along genomes and dot-plot visual representation. S-plot is effective in detecting highly similar regions between two genomes. Within a single genome, S-plot has the ability to identify highly dissimilar regions displaying unusual compositional properties. The application was used to perform a comparative analysis of 50+ microbial genomes as well as many eukaryote genomes including human, rat, mouse, and drosophila. We illustrate the uses of S-Plot in a comparison involving Escherichia coli K12 and E. coli O157:H7.

  15. Visual Evidence of Horizontal Gene Transfer between Plants and Bacteria in the Phytosphere of Transplastomic Tobacco▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Pontiroli, Alessandra; Rizzi, Aurora; Simonet, Pascal; Daffonchio, Daniele; Vogel, Timothy M.; Monier, Jean-Michel

    2009-01-01

    Plant surfaces, colonized by numerous and diverse bacterial species, are often considered hot spots for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between plants and bacteria. Plant DNA released during the degradation of plant tissues can persist and remain biologically active for significant periods of time, suggesting that soil or plant-associated bacteria could be in direct contact with plant DNA. In addition, nutrients released during the decaying process may provide a copiotrophic environment conducive for opportunistic microbial growth. Using Acinetobacter baylyi strain BD413 and transplastomic tobacco plants harboring the aadA gene as models, the objective of this study was to determine whether specific niches could be shown to foster bacterial growth on intact or decaying plant tissues, to develop a competence state, and to possibly acquire exogenous plant DNA by natural transformation. Visualization of HGT in situ was performed using A. baylyi strain BD413(rbcL-ΔPaadA::gfp) carrying a promoterless aadA::gfp fusion. Both antibiotic resistance and green fluorescence phenotypes were restored in recombinant bacterial cells after homologous recombination with transgenic plant DNA. Opportunistic growth occurred on decaying plant tissues, and a significant proportion of the bacteria developed a competence state. Quantification of transformants clearly supported the idea that the phytosphere constitutes a hot spot for HGT between plants and bacteria. The nondisruptive approach used to visualize transformants in situ provides new insights into environmental factors influencing HGT for plant tissues. PMID:19329660

  16. Analysis of Ten Brucella Genomes Reveals Evidence for Horizontal Gene Transfer Despite a Preferred Intracellular Lifestyle▿ §

    PubMed Central

    Wattam, Alice R.; Williams, Kelly P.; Snyder, Eric E.; Almeida, Nalvo F.; Shukla, Maulik; Dickerman, A. W.; Crasta, O. R.; Kenyon, R.; Lu, J.; Shallom, J. M.; Yoo, H.; Ficht, T. A.; Tsolis, R. M.; Munk, C.; Tapia, R.; Han, C. S.; Detter, J. C.; Bruce, D.; Brettin, T. S.; Sobral, Bruno W.; Boyle, Stephen M.; Setubal, João C.

    2009-01-01

    The facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen Brucella infects a wide range of warm-blooded land and marine vertebrates and causes brucellosis. Currently, there are nine recognized Brucella species based on host preferences and phenotypic differences. The availability of 10 different genomes consisting of two chromosomes and representing six of the species allowed for a detailed comparison among themselves and relatives in the order Rhizobiales. Phylogenomic analysis of ortholog families shows limited divergence but distinct radiations, producing four clades as follows: Brucella abortus-Brucella melitensis, Brucella suis-Brucella canis, Brucella ovis, and Brucella ceti. In addition, Brucella phylogeny does not appear to reflect the phylogeny of Brucella species' preferred hosts. About 4.6% of protein-coding genes seem to be pseudogenes, which is a relatively large fraction. Only B. suis 1330 appears to have an intact β-ketoadipate pathway, responsible for utilization of plant-derived compounds. In contrast, this pathway in the other species is highly pseudogenized and consistent with the “domino theory” of gene death. There are distinct shared anomalous regions (SARs) found in both chromosomes as the result of horizontal gene transfer unique to Brucella and not shared with its closest relative Ochrobactrum, a soil bacterium, suggesting their acquisition occurred in spite of a predominantly intracellular lifestyle. In particular, SAR 2-5 appears to have been acquired by Brucella after it became intracellular. The SARs contain many genes, including those involved in O-polysaccharide synthesis and type IV secretion, which if mutated or absent significantly affect the ability of Brucella to survive intracellularly in the infected host. PMID:19346311

  17. Against All Odds: Trehalose-6-Phosphate Synthase and Trehalase Genes in the Bdelloid Rotifer Adineta vaga Were Acquired by Horizontal Gene Transfer and Are Upregulated during Desiccation

    PubMed Central

    Hespeels, Boris; Li, Xiang; Flot, Jean-François; Pigneur, Lise-Marie; Malaisse, Jeremy; Da Silva, Corinne; Van Doninck, Karine

    2015-01-01

    The disaccharide sugar trehalose is essential for desiccation resistance in most metazoans that survive dryness; however, neither trehalose nor the enzymes involved in its metabolism have ever been detected in bdelloid rotifers despite their extreme resistance to desiccation. Here we screened the genome of the bdelloid rotifer Adineta vaga for genes involved in trehalose metabolism. We discovered a total of four putative trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS) and seven putative trehalase (TRE) gene copies in the genome of this ameiotic organism; however, no trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (TPP) gene or domain was detected. The four TPS copies of A. vaga appear more closely related to plant and fungi proteins, as well as to some protists, whereas the seven TRE copies fall in bacterial clades. Therefore, A. vaga likely acquired its trehalose biosynthesis and hydrolysis genes by horizontal gene transfers. Nearly all residues important for substrate binding in the predicted TPS domains are highly conserved, supporting the hypothesis that several copies of the genes might be functional. Besides, RNAseq library screening showed that trehalase genes were highly expressed compared to TPS genes, explaining probably why trehalose had not been detected in previous studies of bdelloids. A strong overexpression of their TPS genes was observed when bdelloids enter desiccation, suggesting a possible signaling role of trehalose-6-phosphate or trehalose in this process. PMID:26161530

  18. The Ordospora colligata Genome: Evolution of Extreme Reduction in Microsporidia and Host-To-Parasite Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Pombert, Jean-François; Haag, Karen Luisa; Beidas, Shadi; Ebert, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT  Microsporidia are a group of obligate intracellular parasites that are best known for their unique infection mechanism and their unparalleled levels of genomic reduction and compaction. We sequenced the genome of Ordospora colligata, a gut parasite of the microcrustacean Daphnia sp. and the closest known relative to the microsporidia characterized by the most extreme genomic reduction, the model genus Encephalitozoon. We found that the O. colligata genome is as compact as those of Encephalitozoon spp., featuring few introns and a similar complement of about 2,000 genes, altogether showing that the extreme reduction took place before the origin of Encephalitozoon spp. and their adaptation to vertebrate hosts. We also found that the O. colligata genome has acquired by horizontal transfer from its animal host a septin that is structurally analogous to septin 7, a protein that plays a major role in the endocytosis-based invasion mechanism of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Microsporidian invasion is most often characterized by injection through a projectile tube, but microsporidia are also known to invade cells by inducing endocytosis. Given the function of septins in other systems, we hypothesize that the acquired septin could help O. colligata induce its uptake by mimicking host receptors. Importance The smallest known eukaryotic genomes are found in members of the Encephalitozoon genus of microsporidian parasites. Their extreme compaction, however, is not characteristic of the group, whose genomes can differ by an order of magnitude. The processes and evolutionary forces that led the Encephalitozoon genomes to shed so much of their ancestral baggage are unclear. We sequenced the genome of Ordospora colligata, a parasite of the water flea Daphnia sp. and the closest known relative of Encephalitozoon species, and show that this extreme reduction predated the split between the two lineages. We also found that O. colligata has acquired a septin gene

  19. Occurrence of Horizontal Gene Transfer of PIB-type ATPase Genes among Bacteria Isolated from the Uranium Rich Deposit of Domiasiat in North East India

    PubMed Central

    Acharya, Celin; Joshi, Santa Ram

    2012-01-01

    Uranium (U) tolerant aerobic heterotrophs were isolated from the subsurface soils of one of the pre-mined U-rich deposits at Domiasiat located in the north-eastern part of India. On screening of genomic DNA from 62 isolates exhibiting superior U and heavy metal tolerance, 32 isolates were found to be positive for PIB-type ATPase genes. Phylogenetic incongruence and anomalous DNA base compositions revealed the acquisition of PIB-type ATPase genes by six isolates through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Three of these instances of HGT appeared to have occurred at inter-phylum level and the other three instances indicated to have taken place at intra-phylum level. This study provides an insight into one of the possible survival strategies that bacteria might employ to adapt to environments rich in uranium and heavy metals. PMID:23133569

  20. Horizontal gene transfer promoted evolution of the ability to propagate under anaerobic conditions in yeasts.

    PubMed

    Gojković, Z; Knecht, W; Zameitat, E; Warneboldt, J; Coutelis, J-B; Pynyaha, Y; Neuveglise, C; Møller, K; Löffler, M; Piskur, J

    2004-05-01

    The ability to propagate under anaerobic conditions is an essential and unique trait of brewer's or baker's yeast ( Saccharomyces cervisiae). To understand the evolution of facultative anaerobiosis we studied the dependence of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, more precisely the fourth enzymic activity catalysed by dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODase), on the enzymes of the respiratory chain in several yeast species. While the majority of yeasts possess a mitochondrial DHODase, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a cytoplasmatic enzyme, whose activity is independent of the presence of oxygen. From the phylogenetic point of view, this enzyme is closely related to a bacterial DHODase from Lactococcus lactis. Here we show that S. kluyveri, which separated from the S. cerevisiae lineage more than 100 million years ago, represents an evolutionary intermediate, having both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial DHODases. We show that these two S. kluyveri enzymes, and their coding genes, differ in their dependence on the presence of oxygen. Only the cytoplasmic DHODase promotes growth in the absence of oxygen. Apparently a Saccharomyces yeast progenitor which had a eukaryotic-like mitochondrial DHODase acquired a bacterial gene for DHODase, which subsequently allowed cell growth gradually to become independent of oxygen. PMID:15014982

  1. Mutational robustness of 16S ribosomal RNA, shown by experimental horizontal gene transfer in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Kitahara, Kei; Yasutake, Yoshiaki; Miyazaki, Kentaro

    2012-01-01

    The bacterial ribosome consists of three rRNA molecules and 57 proteins and plays a crucial role in translating mRNA-encoded information into proteins. Because of the ribosome’s structural and mechanistic complexity, it is believed that each ribosomal component coevolves to maintain its function. Unlike 5S rRNA, 16S and 23S rRNAs appear to lack mutational robustness, because they form the structural core of the ribosome. However, using Escherichia coli Δ7 (null mutant of operons) as a host, we have recently shown that an active hybrid ribosome whose 16S rRNA has been specifically substituted with that from non–E. coli bacteria can be reconstituted in vivo. To investigate the mutational robustness of 16S rRNA and the structural basis for its functionality, we used a metagenomic approach to screen for 16S rRNA genes that complement the growth of E. coli Δ7. Various functional genes were obtained from the Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria lineages. Despite the large sequence diversity (80.9–99.0% identity with E. coli 16S rRNA) of the functional 16S rRNA molecules, the doubling times (DTs) of each mutant increased only modestly with decreasing sequence identity (average increase in DT, 4.6 s per mutation). The three-dimensional structure of the 30S ribosome showed that at least 40.7% (628/1,542) of the nucleotides were variable, even at ribosomal protein-binding sites, provided that the secondary structures were properly conserved. Our results clearly demonstrate that 16S rRNA functionality largely depends on the secondary structure but not on the sequence itself. PMID:23112186

  2. A unique horizontal gene transfer event has provided the octocoral mitochondrial genome with an active mismatch repair gene that has potential for an unusual self-contained function

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The mitochondrial genome of the Octocorallia has several characteristics atypical for metazoans, including a novel gene suggested to function in DNA repair. This mtMutS gene is favored for octocoral molecular systematics, due to its high information content. Several hypotheses concerning the origins of mtMutS have been proposed, and remain equivocal, although current weight of support is for a horizontal gene transfer from either an epsilonproteobacterium or a large DNA virus. Here we present new and compelling evidence on the evolutionary origin of mtMutS, and provide the very first data on its activity, functional capacity and stability within the octocoral mitochondrial genome. Results The mtMutS gene has the expected conserved amino acids, protein domains and predicted tertiary protein structure. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that mtMutS is not a member of the MSH family and therefore not of eukaryotic origin. MtMutS clusters closely with representatives of the MutS7 lineage; further support for this relationship derives from the sharing of a C-terminal endonuclease domain that confers a self-contained mismatch repair function. Gene expression analyses confirm that mtMutS is actively transcribed in octocorals. Rates of mitochondrial gene evolution in mtMutS-containing octocorals are lower than in their hexacoral sister-group, which lacks the gene, although paradoxically the mtMutS gene itself has higher rates of mutation than other octocoral mitochondrial genes. Conclusions The octocoral mtMutS gene is active and codes for a protein with all the necessary components for DNA mismatch repair. A lower rate of mitochondrial evolution, and the presence of a nicking endonuclease domain, both indirectly support a theory of self-sufficient DNA mismatch repair within the octocoral mitochondrion. The ancestral affinity of mtMutS to non-eukaryotic MutS7 provides compelling support for an origin by horizontal gene transfer. The immediate vector of transmission

  3. Evolution of a Sigma Factor: An All-In-One of Gene Duplication, Horizontal Gene Transfer, Purifying Selection, and Promoter Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    López-Leal, Gamaliel; Cevallos, Miguel A.; Castillo-Ramírez, Santiago

    2016-01-01

    Sigma factors are an essential part of bacterial gene regulation and have been extensively studied as far as their molecular mechanisms and protein structure are concerned. However, their molecular evolution, especially for the alternative sigma factors, is poorly understood. Here, we analyze the evolutionary forces that have shaped the rpoH sigma factors within the alphaproteobacteria. We found that an ancient duplication gave rise to two major groups of rpoH sigma factors and that after this event horizontal gene transfer (HGT) occurred in rpoH1 group. We also noted that purifying selection has differentially affected distinct parts of the gene; singularly, the gene segment that encodes the region 4.2, which interacts with the −35 motif of the RpoH-dependent genes, has been under relaxed purifying selection. Furthermore, these two major groups are clearly differentiated from one another regarding their promoter selectivity, as rpoH1 is under the transcriptional control of σ70 and σ32, whereas rpoH2 is under the transcriptional control of σ24. Our results suggest a scenario in which HGT, gene loss, variable purifying selection and clear promoter specialization occurred after the ancestral duplication event. More generally, our study offers insights into the molecular evolution of alternative sigma factors and highlights the importance of analyzing not only the coding regions but also the promoter regions. PMID:27199915

  4. Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of Holoparasite Cistanche deserticola (Orobanchaceae) Reveals Gene Loss and Horizontal Gene Transfer from Its Host Haloxylon ammodendron (Chenopodiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Qin; Ren, Zhumei; Zhao, Jiayuan; Yonezawa, Takahiro; Hasegawa, Masami; Crabbe, M. James C; Li, Jianqiang; Zhong, Yang

    2013-01-01

    Background The central function of chloroplasts is to carry out photosynthesis, and its gene content and structure are highly conserved across land plants. Parasitic plants, which have reduced photosynthetic ability, suffer gene losses from the chloroplast (cp) genome accompanied by the relaxation of selective constraints. Compared with the rapid rise in the number of cp genome sequences of photosynthetic organisms, there are limited data sets from parasitic plants. Principal Findings/Significance Here we report the complete sequence of the cp genome of Cistanche deserticola, a holoparasitic desert species belonging to the family Orobanchaceae. The cp genome of C. deserticola is greatly reduced both in size (102,657 bp) and in gene content, indicating that all genes required for photosynthesis suffer from gene loss and pseudogenization, except for psbM. The striking difference from other holoparasitic plants is that it retains almost a full set of tRNA genes, and it has lower dN/dS for most genes than another close holoparasitic plant, E. virginiana, suggesting that Cistanche deserticola has undergone fewer losses, either due to a reduced level of holoparasitism, or to a recent switch to this life history. We also found that the rpoC2 gene was present in two copies within C. deserticola. Its own copy has much shortened and turned out to be a pseudogene. Another copy, which was not located in its cp genome, was a homolog of the host plant, Haloxylon ammodendron (Chenopodiaceae), suggesting that it was acquired from its host via a horizontal gene transfer. PMID:23554920

  5. Finite population analysis of the effect of horizontal gene transfer on the origin of an universal and optimal genetic code.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Neha; Bandhu, Ashutosh Vishwa; Sengupta, Supratim

    2016-01-01

    The origin of a universal and optimal genetic code remains a compelling mystery in molecular biology and marks an essential step in the origin of DNA and protein based life. We examine a collective evolution model of genetic code origin that allows for unconstrained horizontal transfer of genetic elements within a finite population of sequences each of which is associated with a genetic code selected from a pool of primordial codes. We find that when horizontal transfer of genetic elements is incorporated in this more realistic model of code-sequence coevolution in a finite population, it can increase the likelihood of emergence of a more optimal code eventually leading to its universality through fixation in the population. The establishment of such an optimal code depends on the probability of HGT events. Only when the probability of HGT events is above a critical threshold, we find that the ten amino acid code having a structure that is most consistent with the standard genetic code (SGC) often gets fixed in the population with the highest probability. We examine how the threshold is determined by factors like the population size, length of the sequences and selection coefficient. Our simulation results reveal the conditions under which sharing of coding innovations through horizontal transfer of genetic elements may have facilitated the emergence of a universal code having a structure similar to that of the SGC. PMID:27232957

  6. Finite population analysis of the effect of horizontal gene transfer on the origin of an universal and optimal genetic code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aggarwal, Neha; Vishwa Bandhu, Ashutosh; Sengupta, Supratim

    2016-06-01

    The origin of a universal and optimal genetic code remains a compelling mystery in molecular biology and marks an essential step in the origin of DNA and protein based life. We examine a collective evolution model of genetic code origin that allows for unconstrained horizontal transfer of genetic elements within a finite population of sequences each of which is associated with a genetic code selected from a pool of primordial codes. We find that when horizontal transfer of genetic elements is incorporated in this more realistic model of code-sequence coevolution in a finite population, it can increase the likelihood of emergence of a more optimal code eventually leading to its universality through fixation in the population. The establishment of such an optimal code depends on the probability of HGT events. Only when the probability of HGT events is above a critical threshold, we find that the ten amino acid code having a structure that is most consistent with the standard genetic code (SGC) often gets fixed in the population with the highest probability. We examine how the threshold is determined by factors like the population size, length of the sequences and selection coefficient. Our simulation results reveal the conditions under which sharing of coding innovations through horizontal transfer of genetic elements may have facilitated the emergence of a universal code having a structure similar to that of the SGC.

  7. Evolution of the Glx-tRNA synthetase family: the glutaminyl enzyme as a case of horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed Central

    Lamour, V; Quevillon, S; Diriong, S; N'Guyen, V C; Lipinski, M; Mirande, M

    1994-01-01

    An important step ensuring the fidelity in protein biosynthesis is the aminoacylation of tRNAs by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. The accuracy of this process rests on a family of 20 enzymes, one for each amino acid. One exception is the formation of Gln-tRNA(Gln) that can be accomplished by two different pathways: aminoacylation of tRNA(Gln) with Gln by glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS; EC 6.1.1.18) or transamidation of Glu from Glu-tRNA(Gln) mischarged by glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (GluRS; EC 6.1.1.17). The latter pathway is widespread among bacteria and organelles that, accordingly, lack GlnRS. However, some bacterial species, such as Escherichia coli, do possess a GlnRS activity, which is responsible for Gln-tRNA(Gln) formation. In the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, both GluRS and GlnRS activities can be detected. To gain more insight into the evolutionary relationship between GluRS and GlnRS enzyme species, we have now isolated and characterized a human cDNA encoding GlnRS. The deduced amino acid sequence shows a strong similarity with other known GlnRSs and with eukaryotic GluRSs. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted on the 14 GlxRS (GluRS or GlnRS) sequences available to date. Our data suggest that bacterial GlnRS has a eukaryotic origin and was acquired by a mechanism of horizontal gene transfer. Images PMID:8078941

  8. The Complete Genome Sequence of Plodia Interpunctella Granulovirus: Evidence for Horizontal Gene Transfer and Discovery of an Unusual Inhibitor-of-Apoptosis Gene.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Robert L; Rowley, Daniel L; Funk, C Joel

    2016-01-01

    The Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is a common pest of stored goods with a worldwide distribution. The complete genome sequence for a larval pathogen of this moth, the baculovirus Plodia interpunctella granulovirus (PiGV), was determined by next-generation sequencing. The PiGV genome was found to be 112, 536 bp in length with a 44.2% G+C nucleotide distribution. A total of 123 open reading frames (ORFs) and seven homologous regions (hrs) were identified and annotated. Phylogenetic inference using concatenated alignments of 36 baculovirus core genes placed PiGV in the "b" clade of viruses from genus Betabaculovirus with a branch length suggesting that PiGV represents a distinct betabaculovirus species. In addition to the baculovirus core genes and orthologues of other genes found in other betabaculovirus genomes, the PiGV genome sequence contained orthologues of the bidensovirus NS3 gene, as well as ORFs that occur in alphabaculoviruses but not betabaculoviruses. While PiGV contained an orthologue of inhibitor of apoptosis-5 (iap-5), an orthologue of inhibitor of apoptosis-3 (iap-3) was not present. Instead, the PiGV sequence contained an ORF (PiGV ORF81) encoding an IAP homologue with sequence similarity to insect cellular IAPs, but not to viral IAPs. Phylogenetic analysis of baculovirus and insect IAP amino acid sequences suggested that the baculovirus IAP-3 genes and the PiGV ORF81 IAP homologue represent different lineages arising from more than one acquisition event. The presence of genes from other sources in the PiGV genome highlights the extent to which baculovirus gene content is shaped by horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27472489

  9. The Complete Genome Sequence of Plodia Interpunctella Granulovirus: Evidence for Horizontal Gene Transfer and Discovery of an Unusual Inhibitor-of-Apoptosis Gene

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Robert L.; Rowley, Daniel L.; Funk, C. Joel

    2016-01-01

    The Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is a common pest of stored goods with a worldwide distribution. The complete genome sequence for a larval pathogen of this moth, the baculovirus Plodia interpunctella granulovirus (PiGV), was determined by next-generation sequencing. The PiGV genome was found to be 112, 536 bp in length with a 44.2% G+C nucleotide distribution. A total of 123 open reading frames (ORFs) and seven homologous regions (hrs) were identified and annotated. Phylogenetic inference using concatenated alignments of 36 baculovirus core genes placed PiGV in the “b” clade of viruses from genus Betabaculovirus with a branch length suggesting that PiGV represents a distinct betabaculovirus species. In addition to the baculovirus core genes and orthologues of other genes found in other betabaculovirus genomes, the PiGV genome sequence contained orthologues of the bidensovirus NS3 gene, as well as ORFs that occur in alphabaculoviruses but not betabaculoviruses. While PiGV contained an orthologue of inhibitor of apoptosis-5 (iap-5), an orthologue of inhibitor of apoptosis-3 (iap-3) was not present. Instead, the PiGV sequence contained an ORF (PiGV ORF81) encoding an IAP homologue with sequence similarity to insect cellular IAPs, but not to viral IAPs. Phylogenetic analysis of baculovirus and insect IAP amino acid sequences suggested that the baculovirus IAP-3 genes and the PiGV ORF81 IAP homologue represent different lineages arising from more than one acquisition event. The presence of genes from other sources in the PiGV genome highlights the extent to which baculovirus gene content is shaped by horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27472489

  10. The Secreted Proteins of Achlya hypogyna and Thraustotheca clavata Identify the Ancestral Oomycete Secretome and Reveal Gene Acquisitions by Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Misner, Ian; Blouin, Nic; Leonard, Guy; Richards, Thomas A.; Lane, Christopher E.

    2015-01-01

    Saprotrophic and parasitic microorganisms secrete proteins into the environment to breakdown macromolecules and obtain nutrients. The molecules secreted are collectively termed the “secretome” and the composition and function of this set of proteins varies depending on the ecology, life cycle, and environment of an organism. Beyond the function of nutrient acquisition, parasitic lineages must also secrete molecules to manipulate their host. Here, we use a combination of de novo genome and transcriptome sequencing and bioinformatic identification of signal peptides to identify the putative secreted proteome of two oomycetes, the facultative parasite Achlya hypogyna and free-living Thraustotheca clavata. By comparing the secretomes of these saprolegnialean oomycetes with that of eight other oomycetes, we were able to characterize the evolution of this protein set across the oomycete clade. These species span the last common ancestor of the two major oomycete families allowing us to identify the ancestral secretome. This putative ancestral secretome consists of at least 84 gene families. Only 11 of these gene families are conserved across all 10 secretomes analyzed and the two major branches in the oomycete radiation. Notably, we have identified expressed elicitin-like effector genes in the saprotrophic decomposer, T. clavata. Phylogenetic analyses show six novel horizontal gene transfers to the oomycete secretome from bacterial and fungal donor lineages, four of which are specific to the Saprolegnialeans. Comparisons between free-living and pathogenic taxa highlight the functional changes of oomycete secretomes associated with shifts in lifestyle. PMID:25527045

  11. Molecular and biochemical characterization of an endo-beta-1,3-glucanase from the pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus acquired by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Taisei; Shibuya, Hajime; Jones, John T

    2005-07-01

    We report the cloning and functional characterization of an endo-beta-1,3-glucanase from the pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus acquired by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. This is the first gene of this type from any nematode species. We show that a similar cDNA is also present in another closely related species B. mucronatus, but that similar sequences are not present in any other nematode studied to date. The B. xylophilus gene is expressed solely in the oesophageal gland cells of the nematode and the protein is present in the nematode's secretions. The deduced amino acid sequence of the gene is very similar to glycosyl hydrolase family 16 proteins. The recombinant protein, expressed in Escherichia coli, preferentially hydrolysed the beta-1,3-glucan laminarin, and had very low levels of activity on beta-1,3-1,4-glucan, lichenan and barley beta-glucan. Laminarin was degraded in an endoglucanase mode by the enzyme. The optimal temperature and pH for activity of the recombinant enzyme were 65 degrees C and pH 4.9. The protein is probably important in allowing the nematodes to feed on fungi. Sequence comparisons suggest that the gene encoding the endo-beta-1,3-glucanase was acquired by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. B. xylophilus therefore contains genes that have been acquired by this process from both bacteria and fungi. These findings support the idea that multiple independent horizontal gene transfer events have helped in shaping the evolution of several different life strategies in nematodes. PMID:15727561

  12. Molecular and biochemical characterization of an endo-β-1,3-glucanase from the pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus acquired by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    We report the cloning and functional characterization of an endo-β-1,3-glucanase from the pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus acquired by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. This is the first gene of this type from any nematode species. We show that a similar cDNA is also present in another closely related species B. mucronatus, but that similar sequences are not present in any other nematode studied to date. The B. xylophilus gene is expressed solely in the oesophageal gland cells of the nematode and the protein is present in the nematode's secretions. The deduced amino acid sequence of the gene is very similar to glycosyl hydrolase family 16 proteins. The recombinant protein, expressed in Escherichia coli, preferentially hydrolysed the β-1,3-glucan laminarin, and had very low levels of activity on β-1,3-1,4-glucan, lichenan and barley β-glucan. Laminarin was degraded in an endoglucanase mode by the enzyme. The optimal temperature and pH for activity of the recombinant enzyme were 65 °C and pH 4.9. The protein is probably important in allowing the nematodes to feed on fungi. Sequence comparisons suggest that the gene encoding the endo-β-1,3-glucanase was acquired by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. B. xylophilus therefore contains genes that have been acquired by this process from both bacteria and fungi. These findings support the idea that multiple independent horizontal gene transfer events have helped in shaping the evolution of several different life strategies in nematodes. PMID:15727561

  13. Widespread horizontal transfer of retrotransposons.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Ali Morton; Kortschak, R Daniel; Gardner, Michael G; Bertozzi, Terry; Adelson, David L

    2013-01-15

    In higher organisms such as vertebrates, it is generally believed that lateral transfer of genetic information does not readily occur, with the exception of retroviral infection. However, horizontal transfer (HT) of protein coding repetitive elements is the simplest way to explain the patchy distribution of BovB, a long interspersed element (LINE) about 3.2 kb long, that has been found in ruminants, marsupials, squamates, monotremes, and African mammals. BovB sequences are a major component of some of these genomes. Here we show that HT of BovB is significantly more widespread than believed, and we demonstrate the existence of two plausible arthropod vectors, specifically reptile ticks. A phylogenetic tree built from BovB sequences from species in all of these groups does not conform to expected evolutionary relationships of the species, and our analysis indicates that at least nine HT events are required to explain the observed topology. Our results provide compelling evidence for HT of genetic material that has transformed vertebrate genomes. PMID:23277587

  14. [Plasmid pJP4 mediated gene horizontal transfer in a biofilm system and its effect on 2, 4-D degradation].

    PubMed

    Quan, Xiang-Chun; Tang, Hua; Hu, Li-Juan; Wang, Ran; Zhang, Ning

    2009-09-15

    With plasmid pJP4 (which contains functional gene cluster (tfd) encoding 2,4-D degradation) carrying genetic microorganism Pseudomonas putida SM1443:: gfp2x (pJP4:: dsRed) as the donor strain, events of plasmid mediated gene horizontal transfer and its effect on 2,4-D degradation was investigated in a biofilm system operated under fed-batch mode. The surviving status of the functional gene element in the gene-augmented system and effects of gene-augmentation on microbial community structure were also investigated. Results showed that introduction of pJP4 carrying strain to the biofilm system with 2, 4-D (initial concentration at 170 mg/L +/- 10 mg/L) as the sole carbon source could enhance the degradation of 2, 4-D. Enhancement was slight during the initial stage of operation, but it increased with increasing of fed batch runs. Difference in 2, 4-D average degradation rate between gene-augmented system and the control system achieved up to 13.3 mg/(L x h) at most. Through detecting functional gene tfdB and reporter gene gfp, pJP4 mediated gene horizontal transfer to the bacteria on biofilm was further approved. Effects of gene augmentation on microbial community structure was analyzed by PCR-DGGE analysis, and results showed that relatively higher stability of microbial community was maintained for the gene-augmented biofilm system compared to the control system when facing 2,4-D shock loadings. PMID:19927832

  15. Distinguishing effects of ultraviolet exposure and chlorination on the horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in municipal wastewater.

    PubMed

    Guo, Mei-Ting; Yuan, Qing-Bin; Yang, Jian

    2015-05-01

    Growing attention has been paid to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in wastewater microbial communities; however, the disinfection processes, as microbial control technologies, have not been evaluated for their impacts on ARGs transfer. In this study, the effects of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and chlorination on the frequency of ARGs transfer have been explored based on the conjugative transfer model between Gram-negative strains of E. coli. The results indicated that UV disinfection and chlorination exhibit distinct influences on the conjugative transfer. Low UV doses (up to 8 mJ/cm2) had little influence on the frequency of conjugative transfer, and UV exposure only decreased the bacterial number but did not change the cell permeability. By comparison, low chlorine doses (up to 40 mg Cl min/L) significantly promoted the frequency of conjugative transfer by 2-5-fold. The generated chloramine stimulated the bacteria and improved the cell permeability. More pilus were induced on the surface of conjugative cells, which acted as pathways for ARGs transfer. The frequency of ARG transfers was greatly suppressed by high doses of UV (>10 mJ/cm2) or chlorine (>80 mg Cl min/L). PMID:25853586

  16. Distribution of tetracycline resistance genes in anaerobic treatment of waste sludge: The role of pH in regulating tetracycline resistant bacteria and horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Huang, Haining; Chen, Yinguang; Zheng, Xiong; Su, Yinglong; Wan, Rui; Yang, Shouye

    2016-10-01

    Although pH value has been widely regarded as an important factor that affects resource recovery of waste sludge, the potential influence of diverse pHs on the distribution of tetracycline resistance genes (TRGs) during sludge anaerobic treatment is largely unknown. Here we reported that in the range of pH 4-10, 0.58-1.18 log unit increase of target TRGs was observed at pH 4, compared with that at pH 7, while 0.70-1.31 log unit further removal were obtained at pH 10. Mechanism study revealed that varied pHs not only altered the community structures of tetracycline resistant bacteria (TRB), but also changed their relative abundances, benefitting the propagation (acidic pHs) or attenuation (alkaline pHs) of TRB. Further investigation indicated that the amount and gene-possessing abilities of key genetic vectors for horizontal TRGs transfer were greatly promoted at acidic pHs but restricted under alkaline conditions. PMID:27485281

  17. Draft genome sequence of the male-killing Wolbachia strain wBol1 reveals recent horizontal gene transfers from diverse sources

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis causes diverse and sometimes dramatic phenotypes in its invertebrate hosts. Four Wolbachia strains sequenced to date indicate that the constitution of the genome is dynamic, but these strains are quite divergent and do not allow resolution of genome diversification over shorter time periods. We have sequenced the genome of the strain wBol1-b, found in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina, which kills the male offspring of infected hosts during embyronic development and is closely related to the non-male-killing strain wPip from Culex pipiens. Results The genomes of wBol1-b and wPip are similar in genomic organisation, sequence and gene content, but show substantial differences at some rapidly evolving regions of the genome, primarily associated with prophage and repetitive elements. We identified 44 genes in wBol1-b that do not have homologs in any previously sequenced strains, indicating that Wolbachia’s non-core genome diversifies rapidly. These wBol1-b specific genes include a number that have been recently horizontally transferred from phylogenetically distant bacterial taxa. We further report a second possible case of horizontal gene transfer from a eukaryote into Wolbachia. Conclusions Our analyses support the developing view that many endosymbiotic genomes are highly dynamic, and are exposed and receptive to exogenous genetic material from a wide range of sources. These data also suggest either that this bacterial species is particularly permissive for eukaryote-to-prokaryote gene transfers, or that these transfers may be more common than previously believed. The wBol1-b-specific genes we have identified provide candidates for further investigations of the genomic bases of phenotypic differences between closely-related Wolbachia strains. PMID:23324387

  18. Horizontal transfer of supernumerary chromosomes in fungi.

    PubMed

    van der Does, H Charlotte; Rep, Martijn

    2012-01-01

    Several species of filamentous fungi contain so-called dispensable or supernumerary chromosomes. These chromosomes are dispensable for the fungus to survive, but may carry genes required for specialized functions, such as infection of a host plant. It has been shown that at least some dispensable chromosomes are able to transfer horizontally (i.e., in the absence of a sexual cycle) from one fungal strain to another. In this paper, we describe a method by which this can be shown. Horizontal chromosome transfer (HCT) occurs during co-incubation of two strains. To document the actual occurrence of HCT, it is necessary to select for HCT progeny. This is accomplished by transforming two different drug-resistance genes into the two parent strains before their co-incubation. In one of the strains (the "donor"), a drug-resistance gene should be integrated in a chromosome of which the propensity for HCT is under investigation. In the "tester" or "recipient" strain, another drug-resistance gene should be integrated somewhere in the core genome. In this way, after co-incubation, HCT progeny can be selected on plates containing both drugs. HCT can be initiated with equal amounts of asexual spores of both strains, plated on regular growth medium for the particular fungus, followed by incubation until new asexual spores are formed. The new asexual spores are then harvested and plated on plates containing both drugs. Double drug-resistant colonies that appear should carry at least one chromosome from each parental strain. Finally, double drug-resistant strains need to be analysed to assess whether HCT has actually occurred. This can be done by various genome mapping methods, like CHEF-gels, AFLP, RFLP, PCR markers, optical maps, or even complete genome sequencing. PMID:22183669

  19. Horizontal gene transfer and the rock record: comparative genomics of phylogenetically distant bacteria that induce wrinkle structure formation in modern sediments.

    PubMed

    Flood, B E; Bailey, J V; Biddle, J F

    2014-03-01

    Wrinkle structures are sedimentary features that are produced primarily through the trapping and binding of siliciclastic sediments by mat-forming micro-organisms. Wrinkle structures and related sedimentary structures in the rock record are commonly interpreted to represent the stabilizing influence of cyanobacteria on sediments because cyanobacteria are known to produce similar textures and structures in modern tidal flat settings. However, other extant bacteria such as filamentous representatives of the family Beggiatoaceae can also interact with sediments to produce sedimentary features that morphologically resemble many of those associated with cyanobacteria-dominated mats. While Beggiatoa spp. and cyanobacteria are metabolically and phylogenetically distant, genomic analyses show that the two groups share hundreds of homologous genes, likely as the result of horizontal gene transfer. The comparative genomics results described here suggest that some horizontally transferred genes may code for phenotypic traits such as filament formation, chemotaxis, and the production of extracellular polymeric substances that potentially underlie the similar biostabilizing influences of these organisms on sediments. We suggest that the ecological utility of certain basic life modes such as the construction of mats and biofilms, coupled with the lateral mobility of genes in the microbial world, introduces an element of uncertainty into the inference of specific phylogenetic origins from gross morphological features preserved in the ancient rock record. PMID:24382125

  20. Horizontal gene transfer as adaptive response to heavy metal stress in subsurface microbial communities. Final report for period October 15, 1997 - October 15, 2000

    SciTech Connect

    Smets, B. F.

    2001-12-21

    Horizontal gene transfer as adaptive response to heavy metal stress in the presence of heavy metal stress was evaluated in oligotrophic subsurface soil laboratory scale microcosms. Increasing levels of cadmium (10, 100 and 1000 mM) were applied and an E. coli donor was used to deliver the target plasmids, pMOL187 and pMOL222, which contained the czc and ncc operons, and the helper plasmid RP4. Plasmid transfer was evaluated through monitoring of the heavy metal resistance and presence of the genes. The interactive, clearly revealed, effect of biological and chemical external factors on the extent of plasmid-DNA propagation in microbial communities in contaminated soil environments was observed in this study. Additionally, P.putida LBJ 415 carrying a suicide construct was used to evaluate selective elimination of a plasmid donor.

  1. [Construction of Bacillus thuringiensis labeled recombinant strain and horizontal transfer of its cry1Ac10 gene].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Qin; Sun, Ming; Li, Lin; Yang, Zaiqing; Yu, Ziniu

    2005-01-01

    A recombinant plasmid pBMBZGC10 was obtained by the ligation of gfp-cry1Ac10 fusion gene and vector plasmid pAD4412, which was then introduced by gene pulser into acrystalliferous strain CryB, and a recombinant strain CryB(pBMBZGC10) was obtained. Different fermentative solutions of recombinant strain were used for multi-spraying on Brassica pekinesis, Ipomoea aquatica and Lycopersicon esculentum leaves. The results of fluorescent detection and PCR amplification revealed that cry1Ac10 gene did not transfer into indigenous bacteria, actinomyces and fungi in test soil, and could not be detected in roots, stems and leaves of test plants. PMID:15852975

  2. Development and applications of a DNA labeling method with magnetic nanoparticles to study the role of horizontal gene transfer events between bacteria in soil pollutant bioremediation processes.

    PubMed

    Pivetal, J; Frénéa-Robin, M; Haddour, N; Vézy, C; Zanini, L F; Ciuta, G; Dempsey, N M; Dumas-Bouchiat, F; Reyne, G; Bégin-Colin, S; Felder-Flesh, D; Ghobril, C; Pourroy, G; Simonet, P

    2015-12-01

    Horizontal gene transfers are critical mechanisms of bacterial evolution and adaptation that are involved to a significant level in the degradation of toxic molecules such as xenobiotic pesticides. However, understanding how these mechanisms are regulated in situ and how they could be used by man to increase the degradation potential of soil microbes is compromised by conceptual and technical limitations. This includes the physical and chemical complexity and heterogeneity in such environments leading to an extreme bacterial taxonomical diversity and a strong redundancy of genes and functions. In addition, more than 99 % of soil bacteria fail to develop colonies in vitro, and even new DNA-based investigation methods (metagenomics) are not specific and sensitive enough to consider lysis recalcitrant bacteria and those belonging to the rare biosphere. The objective of the ANR funded project “Emergent” was to develop a new culture independent approach to monitor gene transfer among soil bacteria by labeling plasmid DNA with magnetic nanoparticles in order to specifically capture and isolate recombinant cells using magnetic microfluidic devices. We showed the feasibility of the approach by using electrotransformation to transform a suspension of Escherichia coli cells with biotin-functionalized plasmid DNA molecules linked to streptavidin-coated superparamagnetic nanoparticles. Our results have demonstrated that magnetically labeled cells could be specifically retained on micromagnets integrated in a microfluidic channel and that an efficient selective separation can be achieved with the microfluidic device. Altogether, the project offers a promising alternative to traditional culture-based approaches for deciphering the extent of horizontal gene transfer events mediated by electro or natural genetic transformation mechanisms in complex environments such as soil. PMID:26498963

  3. Two C or not two C: recurrent disruption of Zn-ribbons, gene duplication, lineage-specific gene loss, and horizontal gene transfer in evolution of bacterial ribosomal proteins

    PubMed Central

    Makarova, Kira S; Ponomarev, Vladimir A; Koonin, Eugene V

    2001-01-01

    Background Ribosomal proteins are encoded in all genomes of cellular life forms and are, generally, well conserved during evolution. In prokaryotes, the genes for most ribosomal proteins are clustered in several highly conserved operons, which ensures efficient co-regulation of their expression. Duplications of ribosomal-protein genes are infrequent, and given their coordinated expression and functioning, it is generally assumed that ribosomal-protein genes are unlikely to undergo horizontal transfer. However, with the accumulation of numerous complete genome sequences of prokaryotes, several paralogous pairs of ribosomal protein genes have been identified. Here we analyze all such cases and attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of these ribosomal proteins. Results Complete bacterial genomes were searched for duplications of ribosomal proteins. Ribosomal proteins L36, L33, L31, S14 are each duplicated in several bacterial genomes and ribosomal proteins L11, L28, L7/L12, S1, S15, S18 are so far duplicated in only one genome each. Sequence analysis of the four ribosomal proteins, for which paralogs were detected in several genomes, two of the ribosomal proteins duplicated in one genome (L28 and S18), and the ribosomal protein L32 showed that each of them comes in two distinct versions. One form contains a predicted metal-binding Zn-ribbon that consists of four conserved cysteines (in some cases replaced by histidines), whereas, in the second form, these metal-chelating residues are completely or partially replaced. Typically, genomes containing paralogous genes for these ribosomal proteins encode both versions, designated C+ and C-, respectively. Analysis of phylogenetic trees for these seven ribosomal proteins, combined with comparison of genomic contexts for the respective genes, indicates that in most, if not all cases, their evolution involved a duplication of the ancestral C+ form early in bacterial evolution, with subsequent alternative loss of the C

  4. Multiple Horizontal Gene Transfer Events and Domain Fusions Have Created Novel Regulatory and Metabolic Networks in the Oomycete Genome

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Paul Francis; Schlosser, Laura Rose; Onasch, Katherine Diane; Wittenschlaeger, Tom; Austin, Ryan; Provart, Nicholas

    2009-01-01

    Complex enzymes with multiple catalytic activities are hypothesized to have evolved from more primitive precursors. Global analysis of the Phytophthora sojae genome using conservative criteria for evaluation of complex proteins identified 273 novel multifunctional proteins that were also conserved in P. ramorum. Each of these proteins contains combinations of protein motifs that are not present in bacterial, plant, animal, or fungal genomes. A subset of these proteins were also identified in the two diatom genomes, but the majority of these proteins have formed after the split between diatoms and oomycetes. Documentation of multiple cases of domain fusions that are common to both oomycetes and diatom genomes lends additional support for the hypothesis that oomycetes and diatoms are monophyletic. Bifunctional proteins that catalyze two steps in a metabolic pathway can be used to infer the interaction of orthologous proteins that exist as separate entities in other genomes. We postulated that the novel multifunctional proteins of oomycetes could function as potential Rosetta Stones to identify interacting proteins of conserved metabolic and regulatory networks in other eukaryotic genomes. However ortholog analysis of each domain within our set of 273 multifunctional proteins against 39 sequenced bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, identified only 18 candidate Rosetta Stone proteins. Thus the majority of multifunctional proteins are not Rosetta Stones, but they may nonetheless be useful in identifying novel metabolic and regulatory networks in oomycetes. Phylogenetic analysis of all the enzymes in three pathways with one or more novel multifunctional proteins was conducted to determine the probable origins of individual enzymes. These analyses revealed multiple examples of horizontal transfer from both bacterial genomes and the photosynthetic endosymbiont in the ancestral genome of Stramenopiles. The complexity of the phylogenetic origins of these metabolic pathways and

  5. Variation suggestive of horizontal gene transfer at a lipopolysaccharide (lps) biosynthetic locus in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the bacterial leaf blight pathogen of rice

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Prabhu B; Sonti, Ramesh V

    2004-01-01

    Background In animal pathogenic bacteria, horizontal gene transfer events (HGT) have been frequently observed in genomic regions that encode functions involved in biosynthesis of the outer membrane located lipopolysaccharide (LPS). As a result, different strains of the same pathogen can have substantially different lps biosynthetic gene clusters. Since LPS is highly antigenic, the variation at lps loci is attributed to be of advantage in evading the host immune system. Although LPS has been suggested as a potentiator of plant defense responses, interstrain variation at lps biosynthetic gene clusters has not been reported for any plant pathogenic bacterium. Results We report here the complete sequence of a 12.2 kb virulence locus of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) encoding six genes whose products are homologous to functions involved in LPS biosynthesis and transport. All six open reading frames (ORFs) have atypical G+C content and altered codon usage, which are the hallmarks of genomic islands that are acquired by horizontal gene transfer. The lps locus is flanked by highly conserved genes, metB and etfA, respectively encoding cystathionine gamma lyase and electron transport flavoprotein. Interestingly, two different sets of lps genes are present at this locus in the plant pathogens, Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) and Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri (Xac). The genomic island is present in a number of Xoo strains from India and other Asian countries but is not present in two strains, one from India (BXO8) and another from Nepal (Nepal624) as well as the closely related rice pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoor). TAIL-PCR analysis indicates that sequences related to Xac are present at the lps locus in both BXO8 and Nepal624. The Xoor strain has a hybrid lps gene cluster, with sequences at the metB and etfA ends, being most closely related to sequences from Xac and the tomato pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato respectively

  6. Pervasive Horizontal Transfer of Rolling-Circle Transposons among Animals

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Jainy; Schaack, Sarah; Pritham, Ellen J.

    2010-01-01

    Horizontal transfer (HT) of genes is known to be an important mechanism of genetic innovation, especially in prokaryotes. The impact of HT of transposable elements (TEs), however, has only recently begun to receive widespread attention and may be significant due to their mutagenic potential, inherent mobility, and abundance. Helitrons, also known as rolling-circle transposons, are a distinctive subclass of TE with a unique transposition mechanism. Here, we describe the first evidence for the repeated HT of four different families of Helitrons in an unprecedented array of organisms, including mammals, reptiles, fish, invertebrates, and insect viruses. The Helitrons present in these species have a patchy distribution and are closely related (80–98% sequence identity), despite the deep divergence times among hosts. Multiple lines of evidence indicate the extreme conservation of sequence identity is not due to selection, including the highly fragmented nature of the Helitrons identified and the lack of any signatures of selection at the nucleotide level. The presence of horizontally transferred Helitrons in insect viruses, in particular, suggests that this may represent a potential mechanism of transfer in some taxa. Unlike genes, Helitrons that have horizontally transferred into new host genomes can amplify, in some cases reaching up to several hundred copies and representing a substantial fraction of the genome. Because Helitrons are known to frequently capture and amplify gene fragments, HT of this unique group of DNA transposons could lead to horizontal gene transfer and incur dramatic shifts in the trajectory of genome evolution. PMID:20693155

  7. Horizontal transfer of DNA methylation patterns into bacterial chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jung-Eun; Lin, Chris; Lim, Han N.

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the non-inherited acquisition of novel DNA sequences. HGT is common and important in bacteria because it enables the rapid generation of new phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance. Here we show that in vivo and in vitro DNA methylation patterns can be horizontally transferred into bacterial chromosomes to program cell phenotypes. The experiments were performed using a synthetic system in Escherichia coli where different DNA methylation patterns within the cis-regulatory sequence of the agn43 gene turn on or off a fluorescent reporter (CFP). With this system we demonstrated that DNA methylation patterns not only accompany the horizontal transfer of genes into the bacterial cytoplasm but can be transferred into chromosomes by: (i) bacteriophage P1 transduction; and (ii) transformation of extracellular synthetic DNA. We also modified the experimental system by replacing CFP with the SgrS small RNA, which regulates glucose and methyl α-D-glucoside uptake, and showed that horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can increase or decrease cell fitness. That is, horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can result in the selection for and against cells that have HGT. Findings from these proof-of-concept experiments have applications in synthetic biology and potentially broad implications for bacterial adaptation and evolution. PMID:27084942

  8. Horizontal transfer of DNA methylation patterns into bacterial chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jung-Eun; Lin, Chris; Lim, Han N

    2016-05-19

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the non-inherited acquisition of novel DNA sequences. HGT is common and important in bacteria because it enables the rapid generation of new phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance. Here we show that in vivo and in vitro DNA methylation patterns can be horizontally transferred into bacterial chromosomes to program cell phenotypes. The experiments were performed using a synthetic system in Escherichia coli where different DNA methylation patterns within the cis-regulatory sequence of the agn43 gene turn on or off a fluorescent reporter (CFP). With this system we demonstrated that DNA methylation patterns not only accompany the horizontal transfer of genes into the bacterial cytoplasm but can be transferred into chromosomes by: (i) bacteriophage P1 transduction; and (ii) transformation of extracellular synthetic DNA. We also modified the experimental system by replacing CFP with the SgrS small RNA, which regulates glucose and methyl α-D-glucoside uptake, and showed that horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can increase or decrease cell fitness. That is, horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can result in the selection for and against cells that have HGT. Findings from these proof-of-concept experiments have applications in synthetic biology and potentially broad implications for bacterial adaptation and evolution. PMID:27084942

  9. Deep sequencing revealed molecular signature of horizontal gene transfer of plant like transcripts in the mosquito Anopheles culicifacies: an evolutionary puzzle.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Punita; Das De, Tanwee; Sharma, Swati; Kumar Mishra, Ashwani; Thomas, Tina; Verma, Sonia; Kumari, Vandana; Lata, Suman; Singh, Namita; Valecha, Neena; Chand Pandey, Kailash; Dixit, Rajnikant

    2015-01-01

    In prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been regarded as an important evolutionary drive to acquire and retain beneficial genes for their survival in diverse ecologies. However, in eukaryotes, the functional role of HGTs remains questionable, although current genomic tools are providing increased evidence of acquisition of novel traits within non-mating metazoan species. Here, we provide another transcriptomic evidence for the acquisition of massive plant genes in the mosquito, Anopheles culicifacies. Our multiple experimental validations including genomic PCR, RT-PCR, real-time PCR, immuno-blotting and immuno-florescence microscopy, confirmed that plant like transcripts (PLTs) are of mosquito origin and may encode functional proteins. A comprehensive molecular analysis of the PLTs and ongoing metagenomic analysis of salivary microbiome provide initial clues that mosquitoes may have survival benefits through the acquisition of nuclear as well as chloroplast encoded plant genes. Our findings of PLTs further support the similar questionable observation of HGTs in other higher organisms, which is still a controversial and debatable issue in the community of evolutionists. We believe future understanding of the underlying mechanism of the feeding associated molecular responses may shed new insights in the functional role of PLTs in the mosquito. PMID:26998230

  10. Deep sequencing revealed molecular signature of horizontal gene transfer of plant like transcripts in the mosquito Anopheles culicifacies: an evolutionary puzzle

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Punita; Das De, Tanwee; Sharma, Swati; Kumar Mishra, Ashwani; Thomas, Tina; Verma, Sonia; Kumari, Vandana; Lata, Suman; Singh, Namita; Valecha, Neena; Chand Pandey, Kailash; Dixit, Rajnikant

    2015-01-01

    In prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been regarded as an important evolutionary drive to acquire and retain beneficial genes for their survival in diverse ecologies. However, in eukaryotes, the functional role of HGTs remains questionable, although current genomic tools are providing increased evidence of acquisition of novel traits within non-mating metazoan species. Here, we provide another transcriptomic evidence for the acquisition of massive plant genes in the mosquito, Anopheles culicifacies. Our multiple experimental validations including genomic PCR, RT-PCR, real-time PCR, immuno-blotting and immuno-florescence microscopy, confirmed that plant like transcripts (PLTs) are of mosquito origin and may encode functional proteins. A comprehensive molecular analysis of the PLTs and ongoing metagenomic analysis of salivary microbiome provide initial clues that mosquitoes may have survival benefits through the acquisition of nuclear as well as chloroplast encoded plant genes. Our findings of PLTs further support the similar questionable observation of HGTs in other higher organisms, which is still a controversial and debatable issue in the community of evolutionists. We believe future understanding of the underlying mechanism of the feeding associated molecular responses may shed new insights in the functional role of PLTs in the mosquito. PMID:26998230

  11. Horizontal Gene Transfer from Bacteria Has Enabled the Plant-Parasitic Nematode Globodera pallida to Feed on Host-Derived Sucrose.

    PubMed

    Danchin, Etienne G J; Guzeeva, Elena A; Mantelin, Sophie; Berepiki, Adokiye; Jones, John T

    2016-06-01

    The evolution of plant-parasitic nematodes (PPN) is unusual in that these organisms have acquired a range of genes from bacteria via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The proteins encoded by most of these genes are involved in metabolism of various components of the plant cell wall during invasion of the host. Recent genome sequencing projects for PPN have shown that Glycosyl Hydrolase Family 32 (GH32) sequences are present in several PPN species. These sequences are absent from almost all other animals. Here, we show that the GH32 sequences from an economically important cyst nematode species, Globodera pallida are functional invertases, are expressed during feeding and are restricted in expression to the nematode digestive system. These data are consistent with a role in metabolizing host-derived sucrose. In addition, a detailed phylogenetic analysis shows that the GH32 sequences from PPN and those present in some insect species have distinct bacterial origins and do not therefore derive from a gene present in the last common ancestor of ecdysozoan species. HGT has therefore played at least two critical roles in the evolution of PPN, enabling both invasion of the host and feeding on the main translocation carbohydrate of the plant. PMID:26915958

  12. The Widespread Multidrug-Resistant Serotype O12 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Clone Emerged through Concomitant Horizontal Transfer of Serotype Antigen and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Thrane, Sandra Wingaard; Taylor, Véronique L.; Freschi, Luca; Kukavica-Ibrulj, Irena; Boyle, Brian; Laroche, Jérôme; Pirnay, Jean-Paul; Lévesque, Roger C.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The O-specific antigen (OSA) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide is highly varied by sugar identity, side chains, and bond between O-repeats. These differences classified P. aeruginosa into 20 distinct serotypes. In the past few decades, O12 has emerged as the predominant serotype in clinical settings and outbreaks. These serotype O12 isolates exhibit high levels of resistance to various classes of antibiotics. Here, we explore how the P. aeruginosa OSA biosynthesis gene clusters evolve in the population by investigating the association between the phylogenetic relationships among 83 P. aeruginosa strains and their serotypes. While most serotypes were closely linked to the core genome phylogeny, we observed horizontal exchange of OSA biosynthesis genes among phylogenetically distinct P. aeruginosa strains. Specifically, we identified a “serotype island” ranging from 62 kb to 185 kb containing the P. aeruginosa O12 OSA gene cluster, an antibiotic resistance determinant (gyrAC248T), and other genes that have been transferred between P. aeruginosa strains with distinct core genome architectures. We showed that these genes were likely acquired from an O12 serotype strain that is closely related to P. aeruginosa PA7. Acquisition and recombination of the “serotype island” resulted in displacement of the native OSA gene cluster and expression of the O12 serotype in the recipients. Serotype switching by recombination has apparently occurred multiple times involving bacteria of various genomic backgrounds. In conclusion, serotype switching in combination with acquisition of an antibiotic resistance determinant most likely contributed to the dissemination of the O12 serotype in clinical settings. PMID:26396243

  13. Evidence for birth-and-death evolution and horizontal transfer of the fumonisin mycotoxin biosynthetic gene cluster in Fusarium

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In fungi, genes required for synthesis of secondary metabolites are often clustered. The FUM gene cluster is required for synthesis of fumonisins, a family of toxic secondary metabolites produced predominantly by species in the Fusarium (Gibberella) fujikuroi species complex (FFSC). Fumonisins are a...

  14. Birth, death and horizontal transfer of the fumonisin biosynthetic gene cluster during the evolutionary diversification of Fusarium

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In fungi, genes required for synthesis of secondary metabolites are often clustered. The FUM gene cluster is required for synthesis of a family of toxic secondary metabolites, fumonisins, produced by species of Fusarium in the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex (GFSC). Fumonisins are a health and ...

  15. Interspecies Dissemination of a Mobilizable Plasmid Harboring blaIMP-19 and the Possibility of Horizontal Gene Transfer in a Single Patient.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Masaki; Matsumura, Yasufumi; Gomi, Ryota; Matsuda, Tomonari; Tanaka, Michio; Nagao, Miki; Takakura, Shunji; Uemoto, Shinji; Ichiyama, Satoshi

    2016-09-01

    Carbapenemase-producing Gram-negative bacilli have been a global concern over the past 2 decades because these organisms can cause severe infections with high mortality rates. Carbapenemase genes are often carried by mobile genetic elements, and resistance plasmids can be transferred through conjugation. We conducted whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to demonstrate that the same plasmid harboring a metallo-β-lactamase gene was detected in two different species isolated from a single patient. Metallo-β-lactamase-producing Achromobacter xylosoxidans (KUN4507), non-metallo-β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (KUN4843), and metallo-β-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae (KUN5033) were sequentially isolated from a single patient and then analyzed in this study. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, molecular typing (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing), and conjugation analyses were performed by conventional methods. Phylogenetic and molecular clock analysis of K. pneumoniae isolates were performed with WGS, and the nucleotide sequences of plasmids detected from these isolates were determined using WGS. Conventional molecular typing revealed that KUN4843 and KUN5033 were identical, whereas the phylogenetic tree analysis revealed a slight difference. These two isolates were separated from the most recent common ancestor 0.74 years before they were isolated. The same resistance plasmid harboring blaIMP-19 was detected in metallo-β-lactamase-producing A. xylosoxidans and K. pneumoniae Although this plasmid was not self-transferable, the conjugation of this plasmid from A. xylosoxidans to non-metallo-β-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae was successfully performed. The susceptibility patterns for metallo-β-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae and the transconjugant were similar. These findings supported the possibility of the horizontal transfer of plasmid-borne blaIMP-19 from A. xylosoxidans to K. pneumoniae in a single patient. PMID:27381397

  16. Widespread and frequent horizontal transfers of transposable elements in plants.

    PubMed

    El Baidouri, Moaine; Carpentier, Marie-Christine; Cooke, Richard; Gao, Dongying; Lasserre, Eric; Llauro, Christel; Mirouze, Marie; Picault, Nathalie; Jackson, Scott A; Panaud, Olivier

    2014-05-01

    Vertical, transgenerational transmission of genetic material occurs through reproduction of living organisms. In addition to vertical inheritance, horizontal gene transfer between reproductively isolated species has recently been shown to be an important, if not dominant, mechanism in the evolution of prokaryotic genomes. In contrast, only a few horizontal transfer (HT) events have been characterized so far in eukaryotes and mainly concern transposable elements (TEs). Whether these are frequent and have a significant impact on genome evolution remains largely unknown. We performed a computational search for highly conserved LTR retrotransposons among 40 sequenced eukaryotic genomes representing the major plant families. We found that 26 genomes (65%) harbor at least one case of horizontal TE transfer (HTT). These transfers concern species as distantly related as palm and grapevine, tomato and bean, or poplar and peach. In total, we identified 32 cases of HTTs, which could translate into more than 2 million among the 13,551 monocot and dicot genera. Moreover, we show that these TEs have remained functional after their transfer, occasionally causing a transpositional burst. This suggests that plants can frequently exchange genetic material through horizontal transfers and that this mechanism may be important in TE-driven genome evolution. PMID:24518071

  17. The stability and degradation of dietary DNA in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals: implications for horizontal gene transfer and the biosafety of GMOs.

    PubMed

    Rizzi, Aurora; Raddadi, Noura; Sorlini, Claudia; Nordgrd, Lise; Nielsen, Kaare Magne; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2012-01-01

    The fate of dietary DNA in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of animals has gained renewed interest after the commercial introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO). Among the concerns regarding GM food, are the possible consequences of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of recombinant dietary DNA to bacteria or animal cells. The exposure of the GIT to dietary DNA is related to the extent of food processing, food composition, and to the level of intake. Animal feeding studies have demonstrated that a minor amount of fragmented dietary DNA may resist the digestive process. Mammals have been shown to take up dietary DNA from the GIT, but stable integration and expression of internalized DNA has not been demonstrated. Despite the ability of several bacterial species to acquire external DNA by natural transformation, in vivo transfer of dietary DNA to bacteria in the intestine has not been detected in the few experimental studies conducted so far. However, major methodological limitations and knowledge gaps of the mechanistic aspects of HGT calls for methodological improvements and further studies to understand the fate of various types of dietary DNA in the GIT. PMID:22059960

  18. Examining marginal sequence similarities between bacterial type III secretion system components and Trypanosoma cruzi surface proteins: horizontal gene transfer or convergent evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Danielle C. F.; Silva, Richard C.; Ferreira, Renata C.; Briones, Marcelo R. S.

    2013-01-01

    The cell invasion mechanism of Trypanosoma cruzi has similarities with some intracellular bacterial taxa especially regarding calcium mobilization. This mechanism is not observed in other trypanosomatids, suggesting that the molecules involved in this type of cell invasion were a product of (1) acquisition by horizontal gene transfer (HGT); (2) secondary loss in the other trypanosomatid lineages of the mechanism inherited since the bifurcation Bacteria-Neomura (1.9 billion to 900 million years ago); or (3) de novo evolution from non-homologous proteins via convergent evolution. Similar to T. cruzi, several bacterial genera require increased host cell cytosolic calcium for intracellular invasion. Among intracellular bacteria, the mechanism of host cell invasion of genus Salmonella is the most similar to T. cruzi. The invasion of Salmonella occurs by contact with the host's cell surface and is mediated by the type III secretion system (T3SS) that promotes the contact-dependent translocation of effector proteins directly into host's cell cytoplasm. Here we provide evidence of distant sequence similarities and structurally conserved domains between T. cruzi and Salmonella spp T3SS proteins. Exhaustive database searches were directed to a wide range of intracellular bacteria and trypanosomatids, exploring sequence patterns for comparison of structural similarities and Bayesian phylogenies. Based on our data we hypothesize that T. cruzi acquired genes for calcium mobilization mediated invasion by ancient HGT from ancestral Salmonella lineages. PMID:23967008

  19. Horizontal Gene Exchange in Environmental Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Aminov, Rustam I.

    2011-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays an important role in the evolution of life on the Earth. This view is supported by numerous occasions of HGT that are recorded in the genomes of all three domains of living organisms. HGT-mediated rapid evolution is especially noticeable among the Bacteria, which demonstrate formidable adaptability in the face of recent environmental changes imposed by human activities, such as the use of antibiotics, industrial contamination, and intensive agriculture. At the heart of the HGT-driven bacterial evolution and adaptation are highly sophisticated natural genetic engineering tools in the form of a variety of mobile genetic elements (MGEs). The main aim of this review is to give a brief account of the occurrence and diversity of MGEs in natural ecosystems and of the environmental factors that may affect MGE-mediated HGT. PMID:21845185

  20. Divergent properties and phylogeny of cyanobacterial 5-enol-pyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate synthases: evidence for horizontal gene transfer in the Nostocales.

    PubMed

    Forlani, Giuseppe; Bertazzini, Michele; Barillaro, Donatella; Rippka, Rosmarie

    2015-01-01

    As it represents the target of the successful herbicide glyphosate, great attention has been paid to the shikimate pathway enzyme 5-enol-pyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase. However, inconsistent results have been reported concerning the sensitivity of the enzyme from cyanobacteria, and consequent inhibitory effects on cyanobacterial growth. The properties of EPSP synthase were investigated in a set of 42 strains representative of the large morphological diversity of these prokaryotes. Publicly available protein sequences were analyzed, and related to enzymatic features. In most cases, the native protein showed an unusual homodimeric composition and a general sensitivity to micromolar doses of glyphosate. By contrast, eight out of 15 Nostocales strains were found to possess a monomeric EPSP synthase, whose activity was inhibited only at concentrations exceeding 1 mM. Sequence analysis showed that these two forms are only distantly related, the latter clustering separately in a clade composed of diverse bacterial phyla. The results are consistent with the occurrence of a horizontal gene transfer event involving an evolutionarily distant organism. Moreover, data suggest that the existence of class I (glyphosate-sensitive) and class II (glyphosate-tolerant) EPSP synthases representing two distinct phylogenetic clades is an oversimplification because of the limited number of analyzed samples. PMID:25229999

  1. Health Considerations Regarding Horizontal Transfer of Microbial Transgenes Present in Genetically Modified Crops

    PubMed Central

    Kleter, Gijs A.

    2005-01-01

    The potential effects of horizontal gene transfer on human health are an important item in the safety assessment of genetically modified organisms. Horizontal gene transfer from genetically modified crops to gut microflora most likely occurs with transgenes of microbial origin. The characteristics of microbial transgenes other than antibiotic-resistance genes in market-approved genetically modified crops are reviewed. These characteristics include the microbial source, natural function, function in genetically modified crops, natural prevalence, geographical distribution, similarity to other microbial genes, known horizontal transfer activity, selective conditions and environments for horizontally transferred genes, and potential contribution to pathogenicity and virulence in humans and animals. The assessment of this set of data for each of the microbial genes reviewed does not give rise to health concerns. We recommend including the above-mentioned items into the premarket safety assessment of genetically modified crops carrying transgenes other than those reviewed in the present study. PMID:16489267

  2. Promiscuous DNA: horizontal transfer of transposable elements and why it matters for eukaryotic evolution.

    PubMed

    Schaack, Sarah; Gilbert, Clément; Feschotte, Cédric

    2010-09-01

    Horizontal transfer is the passage of genetic material between genomes by means other than parent-to-offspring inheritance. Although the transfer of genes is thought to be crucial in prokaryotic evolution, few instances of horizontal gene transfer have been reported in multicellular eukaryotes; instead, most cases involve transposable elements. With over 200 cases now documented, it is possible to assess the importance of horizontal transfer for the evolution of transposable elements and their host genomes. We review criteria for detecting horizontal transfers and examine recent examples of the phenomenon, shedding light on its mechanistic underpinnings, including the role of host-parasite interactions. We argue that the introduction of transposable elements by horizontal transfer in eukaryotic genomes has been a major force propelling genomic variation and biological innovation. PMID:20591532

  3. Promiscuous DNA: horizontal transfer of transposable elements and why it matters for eukaryotic evolution

    PubMed Central

    Schaack, Sarah; Gilbert, Clément; Feschotte, Cédric

    2010-01-01

    Horizontal transfer is the passage of genetic material between genomes by means other than parent-to-offspring inheritance. Although the transfer of genes is thought to be crucial in prokaryotic evolution, few instances of horizontal gene transfer have been reported in multicellular eukaryotes; instead, most cases involve transposable elements. With over 200 cases now documented, it is possible to assess the importance of horizontal transfer for the evolution of transposable elements and their host genomes. We review criteria for detecting horizontal transfers and examine recent examples of the phenomenon, shedding light on its mechanistic underpinnings, including the role of host-parasite interactions. We argue that the introduction of transposable elements by horizontal transfer in eukaryotic genomes has been a major force propelling genomic variation and biological innovation. PMID:20591532

  4. Horizontal Transfer of Small RNAs to and from Plants

    PubMed Central

    Han, Lu; Luan, Yu-Shi

    2015-01-01

    Genetic information is traditionally thought to be transferred from parents to offspring. However, there is evidence indicating that gene transfer can also occur from microbes to higher species, such as plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. This horizontal transfer can be carried out by small RNAs (sRNAs). sRNAs have been recently reported to move across kingdoms as mobile signals, spreading silencing information toward targeted genes. sRNAs, especially microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are non-coding molecules that control gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. Some sRNAs act in a cross-kingdom manner between animals and their parasites, but little is known about such sRNAs associated with plants. In this report, we provide a brief introduction to miRNAs that are transferred from plants to mammals/viruses and siRNAs that are transferred from microbes to plants. Both miRNAs and siRNAs can exert corresponding functions in the target organisms. Additionally, we provide information concerning a host-induced gene silencing system as a potential application that utilizes the transgenic trafficking of RNA molecules to silence the genes of interacting organisms. Moreover, we lay out the controversial views regarding cross-kingdom miRNAs and call for better methodology and experimental design to confirm this unique function of miRNAs. PMID:26697056

  5. Horizontal Transfer of Small RNAs to and from Plants.

    PubMed

    Han, Lu; Luan, Yu-Shi

    2015-01-01

    Genetic information is traditionally thought to be transferred from parents to offspring. However, there is evidence indicating that gene transfer can also occur from microbes to higher species, such as plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. This horizontal transfer can be carried out by small RNAs (sRNAs). sRNAs have been recently reported to move across kingdoms as mobile signals, spreading silencing information toward targeted genes. sRNAs, especially microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are non-coding molecules that control gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. Some sRNAs act in a cross-kingdom manner between animals and their parasites, but little is known about such sRNAs associated with plants. In this report, we provide a brief introduction to miRNAs that are transferred from plants to mammals/viruses and siRNAs that are transferred from microbes to plants. Both miRNAs and siRNAs can exert corresponding functions in the target organisms. Additionally, we provide information concerning a host-induced gene silencing system as a potential application that utilizes the transgenic trafficking of RNA molecules to silence the genes of interacting organisms. Moreover, we lay out the controversial views regarding cross-kingdom miRNAs and call for better methodology and experimental design to confirm this unique function of miRNAs. PMID:26697056

  6. Characterization of a Novel Megabirnavirus from Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Reveals Horizontal Gene Transfer from Single-Stranded RNA Virus to Double-Stranded RNA Virus

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Minghong; Wang, Yong; Sun, Xiangzhong; Cheng, Jiasen; Fu, Yanping; Liu, Huiquan; Jiang, Daohong; Ghabrial, Said A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mycoviruses have been detected in all major groups of filamentous fungi, and their study represents an important branch of virology. Here, we characterized a novel double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) mycovirus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum megabirnavirus 1 (SsMBV1), in an apparently hypovirulent strain (SX466) of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Two similarly sized dsRNA segments (L1- and L2-dsRNA), the genome of SsMBV1, are packaged in rigid spherical particles purified from strain SX466. The full-length cDNA sequence of L1-dsRNA/SsMBV1 comprises two large open reading frames (ORF1 and ORF2), which encode a putative coat protein and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of the RdRp domain clearly indicates that SsMBV1 is related to Rosellinia necatrix megabirnavirus 1 (RnMBV1). L2-dsRNA/SsMBV1 comprises two nonoverlapping ORFs (ORFA and ORFB) encoding two hypothetical proteins with unknown functions. The 5′-terminal regions of L1- and L2-dsRNA/SsMBV1 share strictly conserved sequences and form stable stem-loop structures. Although L2-dsRNA/SsMBV1 is dispensable for replication, genome packaging, and pathogenicity of SsMBV1, it enhances transcript accumulation of L1-dsRNA/SsMBV1 and stability of virus-like particles (VLPs). Interestingly, a conserved papain-like protease domain similar to a multifunctional protein (p29) of Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 was detected in the ORFA-encoded protein of L2-dsRNA/SsMBV1. Phylogenetic analysis based on the protease domain suggests that horizontal gene transfer may have occurred from a single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) virus (hypovirus) to a dsRNA virus, SsMBV1. Our results reveal that SsMBV1 has a slight impact on the fundamental biological characteristics of its host regardless of the presence or absence of L2-dsRNA/SsMBV1. IMPORTANCE Mycoviruses are widespread in all major fungal groups, and they possess diverse genomes of mostly ssRNA and dsRNA and, recently, circular ssDNA. Here, we have characterized

  7. Evolutionary genomics of mycovirus-related dsRNA viruses reveals cross-family horizontal gene transfer and evolution of diverse viral lineages

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Double-stranded (ds) RNA fungal viruses are typically isometric single-shelled particles that are classified into three families, Totiviridae, Partitiviridae and Chrysoviridae, the members of which possess monopartite, bipartite and quadripartite genomes, respectively. Recent findings revealed that mycovirus-related dsRNA viruses are more diverse than previously recognized. Although an increasing number of viral complete genomic sequences have become available, the evolution of these diverse dsRNA viruses remains to be clarified. This is particularly so since there is little evidence for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among dsRNA viruses. Results In this study, we report the molecular properties of two novel dsRNA mycoviruses that were isolated from a field strain of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Sunf-M: one is a large monopartite virus representing a distinct evolutionary lineage of dsRNA viruses; the other is a new member of the family Partitiviridae. Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis and genome comparison revealed that there are at least ten monopartite, three bipartite, one tripartite and three quadripartite lineages in the known dsRNA mycoviruses and that the multipartite lineages have possibly evolved from different monopartite dsRNA viruses. Moreover, we found that homologs of the S7 Domain, characteristic of members of the genus phytoreovirus in family Reoviridae are widely distributed in diverse dsRNA viral lineages, including chrysoviruses, endornaviruses and some unclassified dsRNA mycoviruses. We further provided evidence that multiple HGT events may have occurred among these dsRNA viruses from different families. Conclusions Our study provides an insight into the phylogeny and evolution of mycovirus-related dsRNA viruses and reveals that the occurrence of HGT between different virus species and the development of multipartite genomes during evolution are important macroevolutionary mechanisms in dsRNA viruses. PMID:22716092

  8. Wolbachia co-infection in a hybrid zone: discovery of horizontal gene transfers from two Wolbachia supergroups into an animal genome.

    PubMed

    Funkhouser-Jones, Lisa J; Sehnert, Stephanie R; Martínez-Rodríguez, Paloma; Toribio-Fernández, Raquel; Pita, Miguel; Bella, José L; Bordenstein, Seth R

    2015-01-01

    Hybrid zones and the consequences of hybridization have contributed greatly to our understanding of evolutionary processes. Hybrid zones also provide valuable insight into the dynamics of symbiosis since each subspecies or species brings its unique microbial symbionts, including germline bacteria such as Wolbachia, to the hybrid zone. Here, we investigate a natural hybrid zone of two subspecies of the meadow grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus in the Pyrenees Mountains. We set out to test whether co-infections of B and F Wolbachia in hybrid grasshoppers enabled horizontal transfer of phage WO, similar to the numerous examples of phage WO transfer between A and B Wolbachia co-infections. While we found no evidence for transfer between the divergent co-infections, we discovered horizontal transfer of at least three phage WO haplotypes to the grasshopper genome. Subsequent genome sequencing of uninfected grasshoppers uncovered the first evidence for two discrete Wolbachia supergroups (B and F) contributing at least 448 kb and 144 kb of DNA, respectively, into the host nuclear genome. Fluorescent in situ hybridization verified the presence of Wolbachia DNA in C. parallelus chromosomes and revealed that some inserts are subspecies-specific while others are present in both subspecies. We discuss our findings in light of symbiont dynamics in an animal hybrid zone. PMID:26664808

  9. Wolbachia co-infection in a hybrid zone: discovery of horizontal gene transfers from two Wolbachia supergroups into an animal genome

    PubMed Central

    Sehnert, Stephanie R.; Martínez-Rodríguez, Paloma; Toribio-Fernández, Raquel; Pita, Miguel; Bella, José L.; Bordenstein, Seth R.

    2015-01-01

    Hybrid zones and the consequences of hybridization have contributed greatly to our understanding of evolutionary processes. Hybrid zones also provide valuable insight into the dynamics of symbiosis since each subspecies or species brings its unique microbial symbionts, including germline bacteria such as Wolbachia, to the hybrid zone. Here, we investigate a natural hybrid zone of two subspecies of the meadow grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus in the Pyrenees Mountains. We set out to test whether co-infections of B and F Wolbachia in hybrid grasshoppers enabled horizontal transfer of phage WO, similar to the numerous examples of phage WO transfer between A and B Wolbachia co-infections. While we found no evidence for transfer between the divergent co-infections, we discovered horizontal transfer of at least three phage WO haplotypes to the grasshopper genome. Subsequent genome sequencing of uninfected grasshoppers uncovered the first evidence for two discrete Wolbachia supergroups (B and F) contributing at least 448 kb and 144 kb of DNA, respectively, into the host nuclear genome. Fluorescent in situ hybridization verified the presence of Wolbachia DNA in C. parallelus chromosomes and revealed that some inserts are subspecies-specific while others are present in both subspecies. We discuss our findings in light of symbiont dynamics in an animal hybrid zone. PMID:26664808

  10. Lack of evidence for horizontal transfer of the lac operon into Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Stoebel, Daniel M

    2005-03-01

    The idea that Escherichia coli gained the lac operon via horizontal transfer, allowing it to invade a new niche and form a new species, has become a paradigmatic example of bacterial nonpathogenic adaptation and speciation catalyzed by horizontal transfer. Surprisingly, empirical evidence for this event is essentially nonexistent. To see whether horizontal transfer occurred, I compared a phylogeny of 14 Enterobacteriaceae based on two housekeeping genes to a phylogeny of a part of their lac operon. Although several species in this clade appear to have acquired some or all of the operon via horizontal transfer, there is no evidence of horizontal transfer into E. coli. It is not clear whether the horizontal transfer events for which there is evidence were adaptive because those species which have acquired the operon are not thought to live in high lactose environments. I propose that vertical transmission from the common ancestor of the Enterobacteriaceae, with subsequent loss of these genes in many species can explain much of the patchy distribution of lactose use in this clade. Finally, I argue that we need new, well-supported examples of horizontal transfer spurring niche expansion and speciation, particularly in nonpathogenic cases, before we can accept claims that horizontal transfer is a hallmark of bacterial adaptation. PMID:15563718

  11. High Temperature in Combination with UV Irradiation Enhances Horizontal Transfer of stx2 Gene from E. coli O157:H7 to Non-Pathogenic E. coli

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Wan-Fu; Du, Min; Zhu, Mei-Jun

    2012-01-01

    Background Shiga toxin (stx) genes have been transferred to numerous bacteria, one of which is E. coli O157:H7. It is a common belief that stx gene is transferred by bacteriophages, because stx genes are located on lambdoid prophages in the E. coli O157:H7 genome. Both E. coli O157:H7 and non-pathogenic E. coli are highly enriched in cattle feedlots. We hypothesized that strong UV radiation in combination with high temperature accelerates stx gene transfer into non-pathogenic E. coli in feedlots. Methodology/Principal Findings E. coli O157:H7 EDL933 strain were subjected to different UV irradiation (0 or 0.5 kJ/m2) combination with different temperature (22, 28, 30, 32, and 37°C) treatments, and the activation of lambdoid prophages was analyzed by plaque forming unit while induction of Stx2 prophages was quantified by quantitative real-time PCR. Data showed that lambdoid prophages in E. coli O157:H7, including phages carrying stx2, were activated under UV radiation, a process enhanced by elevated temperature. Consistently, western blotting analysis indicated that the production of Shiga toxin 2 was also dramatically increased by UV irradiation and high temperature. In situ colony hybridization screening indicated that these activated Stx2 prophages were capable of converting laboratory strain of E. coli K12 into new Shiga toxigenic E. coli, which were further confirmed by PCR and ELISA analysis. Conclusions/Significance These data implicate that high environmental temperature in combination with UV irradiation accelerates the spread of stx genes through enhancing Stx prophage induction and Stx phage mediated gene transfer. Cattle feedlot sludge are teemed with E. coli O157:H7 and non-pathogenic E. coli, and is frequently exposed to UV radiation via sunlight, which may contribute to the rapid spread of stx gene to non-pathogenic E. coli and diversity of shiga toxin producing E. coli. PMID:22347461

  12. An Operon of Three Transcriptional Regulators Controls Horizontal Gene Transfer of the Integrative and Conjugative Element ICEclc in Pseudomonas knackmussii B13

    PubMed Central

    Pradervand, Nicolas; Sulser, Sandra; Delavat, François; Miyazaki, Ryo; Lamas, Iker; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2014-01-01

    The integrative and conjugative element ICEclc is a mobile genetic element in Pseudomonas knackmussii B13, and an experimental model for a widely distributed group of elements in Proteobacteria. ICEclc is transferred from specialized transfer competent cells, which arise at a frequency of 3-5% in a population at stationary phase. Very little is known about the different factors that control the transfer frequency of this ICE family. Here we report the discovery of a three-gene operon encoded by ICEclc, which exerts global control on transfer initiation. The operon consists of three consecutive regulatory genes, encoding a TetR-type repressor MfsR, a MarR-type regulator and a LysR-type activator TciR. We show that MfsR autoregulates expression of the operon, whereas TciR is a global activator of ICEclc gene expression, but no clear role was yet found for MarR. Deletion of mfsR increases expression of tciR and marR, causing the proportion of transfer competent cells to reach almost 100% and transfer frequencies to approach 1 per donor. mfsR deletion also caused a two orders of magnitude loss in population viability, individual cell growth arrest and loss of ICEclc. This indicates that autoregulation is an important feature maintaining ICE transfer but avoiding fitness loss. Bioinformatic analysis showed that the mfsR-marR-tciR operon is unique for ICEclc and a few highly related ICE, whereas tciR orthologues occur more widely in a large variety of suspected ICE among Proteobacteria. PMID:24945944

  13. Horizontal DNA transfer from bacteria to eukaryotes and a lesson from experimental transfers.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Katsunori; Moriguchi, Kazuki; Yamamoto, Shinji

    2015-12-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is widespread among bacteria and plays a key role in genome dynamics. HGT is much less common in eukaryotes, but is being reported with increasing frequency in eukaryotes. The mechanism as to how eukaryotes acquired genes from distantly related organisms remains obscure yet. This paper cites examples of bacteria-derived genes found in eukaryotic organisms, and then describes experimental DNA transports to eukaryotes by bacterial type 4 secretion systems in optimized conditions. The mechanisms of the latter are efficient, quite reproducible in vitro and predictable, and thereby would provide insight into natural HGT and to the development of new research tools. PMID:26291765

  14. Horizontal transfer of transposons between and within crustaceans and insects

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Horizontal transfer of transposable elements (HTT) is increasingly appreciated as an important source of genome and species evolution in eukaryotes. However, our understanding of HTT dynamics is still poor in eukaryotes because the diversity of species for which whole genome sequences are available is biased and does not reflect the global eukaryote diversity. Results In this study we characterized two Mariner transposable elements (TEs) in the genome of several terrestrial crustacean isopods, a group of animals particularly underrepresented in genome databases. The two elements have a patchy distribution in the arthropod tree and they are highly similar (>93% over the entire length of the element) to insect TEs (Diptera and Hymenoptera), some of which were previously described in Ceratitis rosa (Crmar2) and Drosophila biarmipes (Mariner-5_Dbi). In addition, phylogenetic analyses and comparisons of TE versus orthologous gene distances at various phylogenetic levels revealed that the taxonomic distribution of the two elements is incompatible with vertical inheritance. Conclusions We conclude that the two Mariner TEs each underwent at least three HTT events. Both elements were transferred once between isopod crustaceans and insects and at least once between isopod crustacean species. Crmar2 was also transferred between tephritid and drosophilid flies and Mariner-5 underwent HT between hymenopterans and dipterans. We demonstrate that these various HTTs took place recently (most likely within the last 3 million years), and propose iridoviruses and/or Wolbachia endosymbionts as potential vectors of these transfers. PMID:24472097

  15. 13. DETAIL OF BEVEL GEAR TRANSFERRING HORIZONTAL DRIVE FROM MAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    13. DETAIL OF BEVEL GEAR TRANSFERRING HORIZONTAL DRIVE FROM MAIN WATERWHEEL SHAFT TO VERTICAL SHAFT DRIVING COFFEE HUSKING MILL ON SECOND FLOOR - Hacienda Cafetalera Santa Clara, Coffee Mill, KM 19, PR Route 372, Hacienda La Juanita, Yauco Municipio, PR

  16. Evidence for the recent horizontal transfer of long terminal repeat retrotransposon

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, I. King; Matyunina, Lilya V.; McDonald, John F.

    1999-01-01

    The evolutionary dynamics existing between transposable elements (TEs) and their host genomes have been likened to an “arms race.” The selfish drive of TEs to replicate, in turn, elicits the evolution of host-mediated regulatory mechanisms aimed at repressing transpositional activity. It has been postulated that horizontal (cross-species) transfer may be one effective strategy by which TEs and other selfish genes can escape host-mediated silencing mechanisms over evolutionary time; however, to date, the most definitive evidence that TEs horizontally transfer between species has been limited to class II or DNA-type elements. Evidence that the more numerous and widely distributed retroelements may also be horizontally transferred between species has been more ambiguous. In this paper, we report definitive evidence for a recent horizontal transfer of the copia long terminal repeat retrotransposon between Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila willistoni. PMID:10535972

  17. Plasmids Responsible for Horizontal Transfer of Naphthalene Catabolism Genes between Bacteria at a Coal Tar-Contaminated Site Are Homologous to pDTG1 from Pseudomonas putida NCIB 9816-4

    PubMed Central

    Stuart-Keil, K. G.; Hohnstock, A. M.; Drees, K. P.; Herrick, J. B.; Madsen, E. L.

    1998-01-01

    The presence of a highly conserved nahAc allele among phylogenetically diverse bacteria carrying naphthalene-catabolic plasmids provided evidence for in situ horizontal gene transfer at a coal tar-contaminated site (J. B. Herrick, K. G. Stuart-Keil, W. C. Ghiorse, and E. L. Madsen, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:2330–2337, 1997). The objective of the present study was to identify and characterize the different-sized naphthalene-catabolic plasmids in order to determine the probable mechanism of horizontal transfer of the nahAc gene in situ. Filter matings between naphthalene-degrading bacterial isolates and their cured progeny revealed that the naphthalene-catabolic plasmids were self-transmissible. Limited interstrain transfer was also found. Analysis of the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns indicated that catabolic plasmids from 12 site-derived isolates were closely related to each other and to the naphthalene-catabolic plasmid (pDTG1) of Pseudomonas putida NCIB 9816-4, which was isolated decades ago in Bangor, Wales. The similarity among all site-derived naphthalene-catabolic plasmids and pDTG1 was confirmed by using the entire pDTG1 plasmid as a probe in Southern hybridizations. Two distinct but similar naphthalene-catabolic plasmids were retrieved directly from the microbial community indigenous to the contaminated site in a filter mating by using a cured, rifampin-resistant site-derived isolate as the recipient. RFLP patterns and Southern hybridization showed that both of these newly retrieved plasmids, like the isolate-derived plasmids, were closely related to pDTG1. These data indicate that a pDTG1-like plasmid is the mobile genetic element responsible for transferring naphthalene-catabolic genes among bacteria in situ. The pervasiveness and persistence of this naphthalene-catabolic plasmid suggest that it may have played a role in the adaptation of this microbial community to the coal tar contamination at our study site. PMID:9758778

  18. A heat transfer model of a horizontal ground heat exchanger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironov, R. E.; Shtern, Yu. I.; Shtern, M. Yu.; Rogachev, M. S.

    2016-04-01

    Ground-source heat pumps are gaining popularity in Eastern Europe, especially those which are using the horizontal ground heat exchanger (GHX). Due to the difficulty of accessing GHX after the installation, materials and the quality of the installation must satisfy the very high requirements. An inaccurate calculation of GHX can be the reason of a scarcity of heat power in a crucial moment. So far, there isn't any appropriate mathematical description of the horizontal GHX which takes into account the mutual influence of GHX pipes on each other. To solve this problem we used the temperature wave approach. As a result, a mathematical model which describes the dependence of the heat transfer rate per unit length of the horizontal GHX pipe on the thermal properties of soil, operating time of GHX and the distance between pipes was obtained. Using this model, heat transfer rates per unit length of a horizontal GHX were plotted as functions of the distance between pipes and operating time. The modeling shows that heat transfer rates decreases rapidly with the distance between pipes lower then 2 meters. After the launch of heat pump, heat power of GHX is reduced during the first 20 - 30 days and get steady after that. The obtained results correlate with experimental data. Therefore the proposed mathematical model can be used to design a horizontal GHX with the optimal characteristics, and predict its capability during operation.

  19. H-NS Facilitates Sequence Diversification of Horizontally Transferred DNAs during Their Integration in Host Chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Higashi, Koichi; Tobe, Toru; Kanai, Akinori; Uyar, Ebru; Ishikawa, Shu; Suzuki, Yutaka; Ogasawara, Naotake; Kurokawa, Ken; Oshima, Taku

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria can acquire new traits through horizontal gene transfer. Inappropriate expression of transferred genes, however, can disrupt the physiology of the host bacteria. To reduce this risk, Escherichia coli expresses the nucleoid-associated protein, H-NS, which preferentially binds to horizontally transferred genes to control their expression. Once expression is optimized, the horizontally transferred genes may actually contribute to E. coli survival in new habitats. Therefore, we investigated whether and how H-NS contributes to this optimization process. A comparison of H-NS binding profiles on common chromosomal segments of three E. coli strains belonging to different phylogenetic groups indicated that the positions of H-NS-bound regions have been conserved in E. coli strains. The sequences of the H-NS-bound regions appear to have diverged more so than H-NS-unbound regions only when H-NS-bound regions are located upstream or in coding regions of genes. Because these regions generally contain regulatory elements for gene expression, sequence divergence in these regions may be associated with alteration of gene expression. Indeed, nucleotide substitutions in H-NS-bound regions of the ybdO promoter and coding regions have diversified the potential for H-NS-independent negative regulation among E. coli strains. The ybdO expression in these strains was still negatively regulated by H-NS, which reduced the effect of H-NS-independent regulation under normal growth conditions. Hence, we propose that, during E. coli evolution, the conservation of H-NS binding sites resulted in the diversification of the regulation of horizontally transferred genes, which may have facilitated E. coli adaptation to new ecological niches. PMID:26789284

  20. Dynamic regions within and horizontal transfer of an otherwise stable gene cluster responsible for synthesis of the Fusarium mycotoxin fusaric acid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Fusarium mycotoxin fusaric acid is toxic to plants as well as animals, but its function in the biology of the fungus is not known. Here, we used genome sequencing to survey multiple species in 18 lineages (species complexes) of Fusarium for the presence of the fusaric acid biosynthetic gene (FUB...

  1. Horizontal Transfer of Spinosad in Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Bhatta, D; Henderson, G

    2016-08-01

    Slow-acting and nonrepellent termiticides are possible candidates for nestmate to nestmate transfer called horizontal transfer. For the horizontal transfer study of spinosad, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was released in sand and soil at 1, 25, and 50 ppm Entrust(®) for 1 h and then mixed with healthy untreated termites for 21 d at the ratio of 1:1. Donor and recipient termites began to contact and groom each other immediately after release. Mortality of termites was recorded at 1, 3, 7, and 14 d after treatment. Spinosad was more effectively transferred in sand than in soil. In sand at 25 and 50 ppm, significantly high mortality of donors and recipients was observed after 7 d. When termites were exposed to treated soil at day 21, all three concentrations resulted in significantly higher mortality compared to the control. In our laboratory study, spinosad was effectively transferred by donor termites. Transfer of spinosad depended on its bioavailability and concentration. Further study is needed to address its effects against C. formosanus under field conditions. PMID:27207263

  2. Horizontal transfer of non-LTR retrotransposons in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1999-01-01

    Since their discovery in family Bovidae (bovids), Bov-B LINEs, believed to be order-specific SINEs, have been found in all ruminants and recently also in Viperidae snakes. The distribution and the evolutionary relationships of Bov-B LINEs provide an indication of their origin and evolutionary dynamics in different species. The evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINE elements has been shown unequivocally to be in Squamata (squamates). The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINE elements in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The direction of horizontal transfer from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE elements. The ancestral snake lineage (Boidae) has been recognized as a possible donor of Bov-B LINE elements to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINE elements in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 mya. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINE elements have been stably maintained by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era. PMID:10952205

  3. Global regulation by horizontally transferred regulators establishes the pathogenicity of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Abe, Hiroyuki; Miyahara, Akira; Oshima, Taku; Tashiro, Kosuke; Ogura, Yoshitoshi; Kuhara, Satoru; Ogasawara, Naotake; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Tobe, Toru

    2008-02-29

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli is an emerging pathogen that causes diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Much of the genomic information that affects virulence is acquired by horizontal transfer. Genes necessary for attaching and effacing lesions are located in the locus for enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island. LEE gene transcription is positively regulated by Ler, which is also encoded by the LEE, and by Pch regulators, which are encoded at other loci. Here we identified genes whose transcription profiles were similar to those of the LEE genes, by comparing the effects of altering ler and pch transcript levels. We assigned these genes into two classes, according to their transcription profiles. By determining the binding profiles for Ler and Pch, we showed that both were involved in regulating one class of genes, but only Pch was involved in regulating the other class. Binding sites were found in the coding region as well as the promoter region of regulated genes, which include genes common to K12 strains as well as 0157-specific genes, suggesting that both act as a global regulator. These results indicate that Ler and Pch orchestrate the transcription of virulence genes, which are captured by horizontal transfer and scattered throughout the chromosome. PMID:18222925

  4. Horizontal Transfer and Evolution of Prokaryote Transposable Elements in Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Clément; Cordaux, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal transfer (HT) of transposable elements (TEs) plays a key role in prokaryotic evolution, and mounting evidence suggests that it has also had an important impact on eukaryotic evolution. Although many prokaryote-to-prokaryote and eukaryote-to-eukaryote HTs of TEs have been characterized, only few cases have been reported between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Here, we carried out a comprehensive search for all major groups of prokaryotic insertion sequences (ISs) in 430 eukaryote genomes. We uncovered a total of 80 sequences, all deriving from the IS607 family, integrated in the genomes of 14 eukaryote species belonging to four distinct phyla (Amoebozoa, Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes, and Stramenopiles). Given that eukaryote IS607-like sequences are most closely related to cyanobacterial IS607 and that their phylogeny is incongruent with that of their hosts, we conclude that the presence of IS607-like sequences in eukaryotic genomes is the result of several HT events. Selection analyses further suggest that our ability to detect these prokaryote TEs today in eukaryotes is because HT of these sequences occurred recently and/or some IS607 elements were domesticated after HT, giving rise to new eukaryote genes. Supporting the recent age of some of these HTs, we uncovered intact full-length, potentially active IS607 copies in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellani. Overall, our study shows that prokaryote-to-eukaryote HT of TEs occurred at relatively low frequency during recent eukaryote evolution and it sets IS607 as the most widespread TE (being present in prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and viruses). PMID:23563966

  5. An assay for determining minimal concentrations of antibiotics that drive horizontal transfer of resistance.

    PubMed

    Jutkina, Jekaterina; Rutgersson, Carolin; Flach, Carl-Fredrik; Larsson, D G Joakim

    2016-04-01

    Ability to understand the factors driving horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance from unknown, harmless bacteria to pathogens is crucial in order to tackle the growing resistance problem. However, current methods to measure effects of stressors on horizontal gene transfer have limitations and often fall short, as the estimated endpoints can be a mix of both the number of transfer events and clonal growth of transconjugants. Our aim was therefore to achieve a proper strategy for assessing the minimal concentration of a stressor (exemplified by tetracycline) that drives horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance from a complex community to a model pathogen. Conditions were optimized to improve a culture-based approach using the bacterial community of treated sewage effluent as donor, and fluorescent, traceable Escherichia coli as recipient. Reduced level of background resistance, differentiation of isolates as well as decreased risk for measuring effects of selection were achieved through the use of chromogenic medium, optimization of conjugation time as well as applying a different antibiotic for isolation of transconjugants than the one tested for its ability to drive transfer. Using this assay, we showed that a very low concentration of tetracycline, 10μg/L i.e. 150 times below the minimal inhibitory concentration of the recipient, promoted horizontal transfer of multiple antibiotic-resistance determinants. Higher concentrations favoured selection of a tetracycline-resistance phenotype along with a decline in the number of detectable transfer events. The described method can be used to evaluate different environmental conditions and factors that trigger horizontal dissemination of mobile resistance elements, eventually resulting in the formation of drug-resistant pathogens. PMID:26802341

  6. Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributed to the Evolution of Extracellular Surface Structures: The Freshwater Polyp Hydra Is Covered by a Complex Fibrous Cuticle Containing Glycosaminoglycans and Proteins of the PPOD and SWT (Sweet Tooth) Families

    PubMed Central

    Böttger, Angelika; Doxey, Andrew C.; Hess, Michael W.; Pfaller, Kristian; Salvenmoser, Willi; Deutzmann, Rainer; Geissner, Andreas; Pauly, Barbara; Altstätter, Johannes; Münder, Sandra; Heim, Astrid; Gabius, Hans-Joachim; McConkey, Brendan J.; David, Charles N.

    2012-01-01

    The single-cell layered ectoderm of the fresh water polyp Hydra fulfills the function of an epidermis by protecting the animals from the surrounding medium. Its outer surface is covered by a fibrous structure termed the cuticle layer, with similarity to the extracellular surface coats of mammalian epithelia. In this paper we have identified molecular components of the cuticle. We show that its outermost layer contains glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans and we have identified chondroitin and chondroitin-6-sulfate chains. In a search for proteins that could be involved in organising this structure we found PPOD proteins and several members of a protein family containing only SWT (sweet tooth) domains. Structural analyses indicate that PPODs consist of two tandem β-trefoil domains with similarity to carbohydrate-binding sites found in lectins. Experimental evidence confirmed that PPODs can bind sulfated glycans and are secreted into the cuticle layer from granules localized under the apical surface of the ectodermal epithelial cells. PPODs are taxon-specific proteins which appear to have entered the Hydra genome by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. Their acquisition at the time Hydra evolved from a marine ancestor may have been critical for the transition to the freshwater environment. PMID:23300632

  7. Dogs leaving the ICU carry a very large multi-drug resistant enterococcal population with capacity for biofilm formation and horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Anuradha; Dowd, Scot E; Zurek, Ludek

    2011-01-01

    The enterococcal community from feces of seven dogs treated with antibiotics for 2-9 days in the veterinary intensive care unit (ICU) was characterized. Both, culture-based approach and culture-independent 16S rDNA amplicon 454 pyrosequencing, revealed an abnormally large enterococcal community: 1.4±0.8×10(8) CFU gram(-1) of feces and 48.9±11.5% of the total 16,228 sequences, respectively. The diversity of the overall microbial community was very low which likely reflects a high selective antibiotic pressure. The enterococcal diversity based on 210 isolates was also low as represented by Enterococcus faecium (54.6%) and Enterococcus faecalis (45.4%). E. faecium was frequently resistant to enrofloxacin (97.3%), ampicillin (96.5%), tetracycline (84.1%), doxycycline (60.2%), erythromycin (53.1%), gentamicin (48.7%), streptomycin (42.5%), and nitrofurantoin (26.5%). In E. faecalis, resistance was common to tetracycline (59.6%), erythromycin (56.4%), doxycycline (53.2%), and enrofloxacin (31.9%). No resistance was detected to vancomycin, tigecycline, linezolid, and quinupristin/dalfopristin in either species. Many isolates carried virulence traits including gelatinase, aggregation substance, cytolysin, and enterococcal surface protein. All E. faecalis strains were biofilm formers in vitro and this phenotype correlated with the presence of gelE and/or esp. In vitro intra-species conjugation assays demonstrated that E. faecium were capable of transferring tetracycline, doxycycline, streptomycin, gentamicin, and erythromycin resistance traits to human clinical strains. Multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of E. faecium strains showed very low genotypic diversity. Interestingly, three E. faecium clones were shared among four dogs suggesting their nosocomial origin. Furthermore, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) of nine representative MLVA types revealed that six sequence types (STs) originating from five

  8. Dogs Leaving the ICU Carry a Very Large Multi-Drug Resistant Enterococcal Population with Capacity for Biofilm Formation and Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anuradha; Dowd, Scot E.; Zurek, Ludek

    2011-01-01

    The enterococcal community from feces of seven dogs treated with antibiotics for 2–9 days in the veterinary intensive care unit (ICU) was characterized. Both, culture-based approach and culture-independent 16S rDNA amplicon 454 pyrosequencing, revealed an abnormally large enterococcal community: 1.4±0.8×108 CFU gram−1 of feces and 48.9±11.5% of the total 16,228 sequences, respectively. The diversity of the overall microbial community was very low which likely reflects a high selective antibiotic pressure. The enterococcal diversity based on 210 isolates was also low as represented by Enterococcus faecium (54.6%) and Enterococcus faecalis (45.4%). E. faecium was frequently resistant to enrofloxacin (97.3%), ampicillin (96.5%), tetracycline (84.1%), doxycycline (60.2%), erythromycin (53.1%), gentamicin (48.7%), streptomycin (42.5%), and nitrofurantoin (26.5%). In E. faecalis, resistance was common to tetracycline (59.6%), erythromycin (56.4%), doxycycline (53.2%), and enrofloxacin (31.9%). No resistance was detected to vancomycin, tigecycline, linezolid, and quinupristin/dalfopristin in either species. Many isolates carried virulence traits including gelatinase, aggregation substance, cytolysin, and enterococcal surface protein. All E. faecalis strains were biofilm formers in vitro and this phenotype correlated with the presence of gelE and/or esp. In vitro intra-species conjugation assays demonstrated that E. faecium were capable of transferring tetracycline, doxycycline, streptomycin, gentamicin, and erythromycin resistance traits to human clinical strains. Multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of E. faecium strains showed very low genotypic diversity. Interestingly, three E. faecium clones were shared among four dogs suggesting their nosocomial origin. Furthermore, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) of nine representative MLVA types revealed that six sequence types (STs) originating from five

  9. Phage-mediated Shiga toxin (Stx) horizontal gene transfer and expression in non-Shiga toxigenic Enterobacter and Escherichia coli strains.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Rowaida K S; Skinner, Craig; Patfield, Stephanie; He, Xiaohua

    2016-07-01

    Enterobacter cloacae M12X01451 strain recently identified from a clinical specimen produces a new Stx1 subtype (Stx1e) that was not neutralized by existing anti-Stx1 monoclonal antibodies. Acquisition of stx by Ent. cloacae is rare and origin/stability of stx1e in M12X01451 is not known. In this study, we confirmed the ability of Stx1a- and Stx1e-converting phages from an Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain RM8530 and M12X01451 respectively to infect several E. coli and Ent. cloacae strains. stx1e was detected in 97.5% and 72.5% of progenies of strains lysogenized by stx1e phage after 10 (T10) and 20 (T20) subcultures, versus 65% and 17.5% for stx1a gene. Infection of M12X01451 and RM8530 with each other's phages generated double lysogens containing both phages. stx1a was lost after T10, whereas the stx1e was maintained even after T20 in M12X01451 lysogens. In RM8530 lysogens, the acquired stx1e was retained with no mutations, but 20% of stx1a was lost after T20 ELISA and western blot analyses demonstrated that Stx1e was produced in all strains lysogenized by stx1e phage; however, Stx1a was not detected in any lysogenized strain. The study results highlight the potential risks of emerging Stx-producing strains via bacteriophages either in the human gastrointestinal tract or in food production environments, which are matters of great concern and may have serious impacts on human health. PMID:27109772

  10. Acquisition through Horizontal Gene Transfer of Plasmid pSMA198 by Streptococcus macedonicus ACA-DC 198 Points towards the Dairy Origin of the Species

    PubMed Central

    Papadimitriou, Konstantinos; Anastasiou, Rania; Maistrou, Eleni; Plakas, Thomas; Papandreou, Nikos C.; Hamodrakas, Stavros J.; Ferreira, Stéphanie; Supply, Philip; Renault, Pierre; Pot, Bruno; Tsakalidou, Effie

    2015-01-01

    Background Streptococcus macedonicus is an intriguing streptococcal species whose most frequent source of isolation is fermented foods similarly to Streptococcus thermophilus. However, S. macedonicus is closely related to commensal opportunistic pathogens of the Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the pSMA198 plasmid isolated from the dairy strain Streptococcus macedonicus ACA-DC 198 in order to provide novel clues about the main ecological niche of this bacterium. pSMA198 belongs to the narrow host range pCI305/pWV02 family found primarily in lactococci and to the best of our knowledge it is the first such plasmid to be reported in streptococci. Comparative analysis of the pSMA198 sequence revealed a high degree of similarity with plasmids isolated from Lactococcus lactis strains deriving from milk or its products. Phylogenetic analysis of the pSMA198 Rep showed that the vast majority of closely related proteins derive from lactococcal dairy isolates. Additionally, cloning of the pSMA198 ori in L. lactis revealed a 100% stability of replication over 100 generations. Both pSMA198 and the chromosome of S. macedonicus exhibit a high percentage of potential pseudogenes, indicating that they have co-evolved under the same gene decay processes. We identified chromosomal regions in S. macedonicus that may have originated from pSMA198, also supporting a long co-existence of the two replicons. pSMA198 was also found in divergent biotypes of S. macedonicus and in strains isolated from dispersed geographic locations (e.g. Greece and Switzerland) showing that pSMA198’s acquisition is not a recent event. Conclusions/Significance Here we propose that S. macedonicus acquired plasmid pSMA198 from L. lactis via an ancestral genetic exchange event that took place most probably in milk or dairy products. We provide important evidence that point towards the dairy origin of this species. PMID:25584532