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Sample records for horizontally transferred genes

  1. Inferring Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Lassalle, Florent; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal or Lateral Gene Transfer (HGT or LGT) is the transmission of portions of genomic DNA between organisms through a process decoupled from vertical inheritance. In the presence of HGT events, different fragments of the genome are the result of different evolutionary histories. This can therefore complicate the investigations of evolutionary relatedness of lineages and species. Also, as HGT can bring into genomes radically different genotypes from distant lineages, or even new genes bearing new functions, it is a major source of phenotypic innovation and a mechanism of niche adaptation. For example, of particular relevance to human health is the lateral transfer of antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity determinants, leading to the emergence of pathogenic lineages [1]. Computational identification of HGT events relies upon the investigation of sequence composition or evolutionary history of genes. Sequence composition-based ("parametric") methods search for deviations from the genomic average, whereas evolutionary history-based ("phylogenetic") approaches identify genes whose evolutionary history significantly differs from that of the host species. The evaluation and benchmarking of HGT inference methods typically rely upon simulated genomes, for which the true history is known. On real data, different methods tend to infer different HGT events, and as a result it can be difficult to ascertain all but simple and clear-cut HGT events. PMID:26020646

  2. Panspermia and horizontal gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klyce, Brig

    2009-08-01

    Evidence that extremophiles are hardy and ubiquitous is helping to make panspermia a respectable theory. But even if life on Earth originally came from space, biologists assume that the subsequent evolution of life is still governed by the darwinian paradigm. In this review we show how panspermia could amend darwinism and point to a cosmic source for, not only extremophiles but, all of life. This version of panspermia can be called "strong panspermia." To support this theory we will discuss recent evidence pertaining to horizontal gene transfer, viruses, genes apparently older than the Earthly evolution of the features they encode, and primate-specific genes without identifiable precursors.

  3. Horizontal gene transfer in chromalveolates

    PubMed Central

    Nosenko, Tetyana; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2007-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the non-genealogical transfer of genetic material between different organisms, is considered a potentially important mechanism of genome evolution in eukaryotes. Using phylogenomic analyses of expressed sequence tag (EST) data generated from a clonal cell line of a free living dinoflagellate alga Karenia brevis, we investigated the impact of HGT on genome evolution in unicellular chromalveolate protists. Results We identified 16 proteins that have originated in chromalveolates through ancient HGTs before the divergence of the genera Karenia and Karlodinium and one protein that was derived through a more recent HGT. Detailed analysis of the phylogeny and distribution of identified proteins demonstrates that eight have resulted from independent HGTs in several eukaryotic lineages. Conclusion Recurring intra- and interdomain gene exchange provides an important source of genetic novelty not only in parasitic taxa as previously demonstrated but as we show here, also in free-living protists. Investigating the tempo and mode of evolution of horizontally transferred genes in protists will therefore advance our understanding of mechanisms of adaptation in eukaryotes. PMID:17894863

  4. Detecting Highways of Horizontal Gene Transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Mukul S.; Gogarten, J. Peter; Shamir, Ron

    In a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event a gene is transferred between two species that do not share an ancestor-descendant relationship. Typically, no more than a few genes are horizontally transferred between any two species. However, several studies identified pairs of species between which many different genes were horizontally transferred. Such a pair is said to be linked by a highway of gene sharing. We present a method for inferring such highways. Our method is based on the fact that the evolutionary histories of horizontally transferred genes disagree with the corresponding species phylogeny. Specifically, given a set of gene trees and a trusted rooted species tree, each gene tree is first decomposed into its constituent quartet trees and the quartets that are inconsistent with the species tree are identified. Our method finds a pair of species such that a highway between them explains the largest (normalized) fraction of inconsistent quartets. For a problem on n species, our method requires O(n 4) time, which is optimal with respect to the quartets input size. An application of our method to a dataset of 1128 genes from 11 cyanobacterial species, as well as to simulated datasets, illustrates the efficacy of our method.

  5. Detecting highways of horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Mukul S; Banay, Guy; Gogarten, J Peter; Shamir, Ron

    2011-09-01

    In a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event, a gene is transferred between two species that do not have an ancestor-descendant relationship. Typically, no more than a few genes are horizontally transferred between any two species. However, several studies identified pairs of species between which many different genes were horizontally transferred. Such a pair is said to be linked by a highway of gene sharing. We present a method for inferring such highways. Our method is based on the fact that the evolutionary histories of horizontally transferred genes disagree with the corresponding species phylogeny. Specifically, given a set of gene trees and a trusted rooted species tree, each gene tree is first decomposed into its constituent quartet trees and the quartets that are inconsistent with the species tree are identified. Our method finds a pair of species such that a highway between them explains the largest (normalized) fraction of inconsistent quartets. For a problem on n species and m input quartet trees, we give an efficient O(m + n(2))-time algorithm for detecting highways, which is optimal with respect to the quartets input size. An application of our method to a dataset of 1128 genes from 11 cyanobacterial species, as well as to simulated datasets, illustrates the efficacy of our method.

  6. Horizontal Gene Transfer and Ecosystem Function Dynamics.

    PubMed

    van de Guchte, Maarten

    2017-09-01

    Horizontal gene transfer can provide bacteria with new functions that confer an important competitive advantage, and is therefore likely to affect the dynamics of bacterial ecosystems. Two studies by Wolfe et al. and Bonham et al. prepare the way to study this hypothesis in a model ecosystem with reproducible properties. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. Horizontal gene transfer in parasitic plants.

    PubMed

    Davis, Charles C; Xi, Zhenxiang

    2015-08-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between species has been a major focus of plant evolutionary research during the past decade. Parasitic plants, which establish a direct connection with their hosts, have provided excellent examples of how these transfers are facilitated via the intimacy of this symbiosis. In particular, phylogenetic studies from diverse clades indicate that parasitic plants represent a rich system for studying this phenomenon. Here, HGT has been shown to be astonishingly high in the mitochondrial genome, and appreciable in the nuclear genome. Although explicit tests remain to be performed, some transgenes have been hypothesized to be functional in their recipient species, thus providing a new perspective on the evolution of novelty in parasitic plants.

  9. Horizontal gene transfer: A critical view

    PubMed Central

    Kurland, C. G.; Canback, B.; Berg, Otto G.

    2003-01-01

    It has been suggested that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the “essence of phylogeny.” In contrast, much data suggest that this is an exaggeration resulting in part from a reliance on inadequate methods to identify HGT events. In addition, the assumption that HGT is a ubiquitous influence throughout evolution is questionable. Instead, rampant global HGT is likely to have been relevant only to primitive genomes. In modern organisms we suggest that both the range and frequencies of HGT are constrained most often by selective barriers. As a consequence those HGT events that do occur most often have little influence on genome phylogeny. Although HGT does occur with important evolutionary consequences, classical Darwinian lineages seem to be the dominant mode of evolution for modern organisms. PMID:12902542

  10. 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

  11. Widespread of horizontal gene transfer in the human genome.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wenze; Tsai, Lillian; Li, Yulong; Hua, Nan; Sun, Chen; Wei, Chaochun

    2017-04-04

    A fundamental concept in biology is that heritable material is passed from parents to offspring, a process called vertical gene transfer. An alternative mechanism of gene acquisition is through horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which involves movement of genetic materials between different species. Horizontal gene transfer has been found prevalent in prokaryotes but very rare in eukaryote. In this paper, we investigate horizontal gene transfer in the human genome. From the pair-wise alignments between human genome and 53 vertebrate genomes, 1,467 human genome regions (2.6 M bases) from all chromosomes were found to be more conserved with non-mammals than with most mammals. These human genome regions involve 642 known genes, which are enriched with ion binding. Compared to known horizontal gene transfer regions in the human genome, there were few overlapping regions, which indicated horizontal gene transfer is more common than we expected in the human genome. Horizontal gene transfer impacts hundreds of human genes and this study provided insight into potential mechanisms of HGT in the human genome.

  12. Regulation of mammalian horizontal gene transfer by apoptotic DNA fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Yan, B; Wang, H; Li, F; Li, C-Y

    2006-01-01

    Previously it was shown that horizontal DNA transfer between mammalian cells can occur through the uptake of apoptotic bodies, where genes from the apoptotic cells were transferred to neighbouring cells phagocytosing the apoptotic bodies. The regulation of this process is poorly understood. It was shown that the ability of cells as recipient of horizontally transferred DNA was enhanced by deficiency of p53 or p21. However, little is known with regard to the regulation of DNA from donor apoptotic cells. Here we report that the DNA fragmentation factor/caspase-activated DNase (DFF/CAD), which is the endonuclease responsible for DNA fragmentation during apoptosis, plays a significant role in regulation of horizontal DNA transfer. Cells with inhibited DFF/CAD function are poor donors for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) while their ability of being recipients of HGT is not affected. PMID:17146478

  13. The interconnection between biofilm formation and horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jonas Stenløkke; Burmølle, Mette; Hansen, Lars Hestbjerg; Sørensen, Søren Johannes

    2012-07-01

    Recent research has revealed that horizontal gene transfer and biofilm formation are connected processes. Although published research investigating this interconnectedness is still limited, we will review this subject in order to highlight the potential of these observations because of their believed importance in the understanding of the adaptation and subsequent evolution of social traits in bacteria. Here, we discuss current evidence for such interconnectedness centred on plasmids. Horizontal transfer rates are typically higher in biofilm communities compared with those in planktonic states. Biofilms, furthermore, promote plasmid stability and may enhance the host range of mobile genetic elements that are transferred horizontally. Plasmids, on the other hand, are very well suited to promote the evolution of social traits such as biofilm formation. This, essentially, transpires because plasmids are independent replicons that enhance their own success by promoting inter-bacterial interactions. They typically also carry genes that heighten their hosts' direct fitness. Furthermore, current research shows that the so-called mafia traits encoded on mobile genetic elements can enforce bacteria to maintain stable social interactions. It also indicates that horizontal gene transfer ultimately enhances the relatedness of bacteria carrying the mobile genetic elements of the same origin. The perspective of this review extends to an overall interconnectedness between horizontal gene transfer, mobile genetic elements and social evolution of bacteria.

  14. Global Analysis of Horizontal Gene Transfer in Fusarium verticillioides

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Quasispecies theory for horizontal gene transfer and recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz, Enrique; Park, Jeong-Man; Deem, Michael W.

    2008-12-01

    We introduce a generalization of the parallel, or Crow-Kimura, and Eigen models of molecular evolution to represent the exchange of genetic information between individuals in a population. We study the effect of different schemes of genetic recombination on the steady-state mean fitness and distribution of individuals in the population, through an analytic field theoretic mapping. We investigate both horizontal gene transfer from a population and recombination between pairs of individuals. Somewhat surprisingly, these nonlinear generalizations of quasispecies theory to modern biology are analytically solvable. For two-parent recombination, we find two selected phases, one of which is spectrally rigid. We present exact analytical formulas for the equilibrium mean fitness of the population, in terms of a maximum principle, which are generally applicable to any permutation invariant replication rate function. For smooth fitness landscapes, we show that when positive epistatic interactions are present, recombination or horizontal gene transfer introduces a mild load against selection. Conversely, if the fitness landscape exhibits negative epistasis, horizontal gene transfer or recombination introduces an advantage by enhancing selection towards the fittest genotypes. These results prove that the mutational deterministic hypothesis holds for quasispecies models. For the discontinuous single sharp peak fitness landscape, we show that horizontal gene transfer has no effect on the fitness, while recombination decreases the fitness, for both the parallel and the Eigen models. We present numerical and analytical results as well as phase diagrams for the different cases.

  18. Horizontal gene transfer in an acid mine drainage microbial community.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jiangtao; Wang, Qi; Wang, Xiaoqi; Wang, Fumeng; Yao, Jinxian; Zhu, Huaiqiu

    2015-07-04

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been widely identified in complete prokaryotic genomes. However, the roles of HGT among members of a microbial community and in evolution remain largely unknown. With the emergence of metagenomics, it is nontrivial to investigate such horizontal flow of genetic materials among members in a microbial community from the natural environment. Because of the lack of suitable methods for metagenomics gene transfer detection, microorganisms from a low-complexity community acid mine drainage (AMD) with near-complete genomes were used to detect possible gene transfer events and suggest the biological significance. Using the annotation of coding regions by the current tools, a phylogenetic approach, and an approximately unbiased test, we found that HGTs in AMD organisms are not rare, and we predicted 119 putative transferred genes. Among them, 14 HGT events were determined to be transfer events among the AMD members. Further analysis of the 14 transferred genes revealed that the HGT events affected the functional evolution of archaea or bacteria in AMD, and it probably shaped the community structure, such as the dominance of G-plasma in archaea in AMD through HGT. Our study provides a novel insight into HGT events among microorganisms in natural communities. The interconnectedness between HGT and community evolution is essential to understand microbial community formation and development.

  19. Systematic inference of highways of horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Mukul S; Banay, Guy; Harlow, Timothy J; Gogarten, J Peter; Shamir, Ron

    2013-03-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays a crucial role in the evolution of prokaryotic species. Typically, no more than a few genes are horizontally transferred between any two species. However, several studies identified pairs of species (or linages) between which many different genes were horizontally transferred. Such a pair is said to be linked by a highway of gene sharing. Inferring such highways is crucial to understanding the evolution of prokaryotes and for inferring past symbiotic and ecological associations among different species. We present a new improved method for systematically detecting highways of gene sharing. As we demonstrate using a variety of simulated datasets, our method is highly accurate and efficient, and robust to noise and high rates of HGT. We further validate our method by applying it to a published dataset of >22 000 gene trees from 144 prokaryotic species. Our method makes it practical, for the first time, to perform accurate highway analysis quickly and easily even on large datasets with high rates of HGT. An implementation of the method can be freely downloaded from: http://acgt.cs.tau.ac.il/hide.

  20. The power of phylogenetic approaches to detect horizontally transferred genes

    PubMed Central

    Poptsova, Maria S; Gogarten, J Peter

    2007-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer plays an important role in evolution because it sometimes allows recipient lineages to adapt to new ecological niches. High genes transfer frequencies were inferred for prokaryotic and early eukaryotic evolution. Does horizontal gene transfer also impact phylogenetic reconstruction of the evolutionary history of genomes and organisms? The answer to this question depends at least in part on the actual gene transfer frequencies and on the ability to weed out transferred genes from further analyses. Are the detected transfers mainly false positives, or are they the tip of an iceberg of many transfer events most of which go undetected by current methods? Results Phylogenetic detection methods appear to be the method of choice to infer gene transfers, especially for ancient transfers and those followed by orthologous replacement. Here we explore how well some of these methods perform using in silico transfers between the terminal branches of a gamma proteobacterial, genome based phylogeny. For the experiments performed here on average the AU test at a 5% significance level detects 90.3% of the transfers and 91% of the exchanges as significant. Using the Robinson-Foulds distance only 57.7% of the exchanges and 60% of the donations were identified as significant. Analyses using bipartition spectra appeared most successful in our test case. The power of detection was on average 97% using a 70% cut-off and 94.2% with 90% cut-off for identifying conflicting bipartitions, while the rate of false positives was below 4.2% and 2.1% for the two cut-offs, respectively. For all methods the detection rates improved when more intervening branches separated donor and recipient. Conclusion Rates of detected transfers should not be mistaken for the actual transfer rates; most analyses of gene transfers remain anecdotal. The method and significance level to identify potential gene transfer events represent a trade-off between the frequency of erroneous

  1. Horizontal transfer of carbohydrate metabolism genes into ectomycorrhizal Amanita.

    PubMed

    Chaib De Mares, Maryam; Hess, Jaqueline; Floudas, Dimitrios; Lipzen, Anna; Choi, Cindy; Kennedy, Megan; Grigoriev, Igor V; Pringle, Anne

    2015-03-01

    The genus Amanita encompasses both symbiotic, ectomycorrhizal fungi and asymbiotic litter decomposers; all species are derived from asymbiotic ancestors. Symbiotic species are no longer able to degrade plant cell walls. The carbohydrate esterases family 1 (CE1s) is a diverse group of enzymes involved in carbon metabolism, including decomposition and carbon storage. CE1 genes of the ectomycorrhizal A. muscaria appear diverged from all other fungal homologues, and more similar to CE1s of bacteria, suggesting a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event. In order to test whether AmanitaCE1s were acquired horizontally, we built a phylogeny of CE1s collected from across the tree of life, and describe the evolution of CE1 genes among Amanita and relevant lineages of bacteria. CE1s of symbiotic Amanita were very different from CE1s of asymbiotic Amanita, and are more similar to bacterial CE1s. The protein structure of one CE1 gene of A. muscaria matched a depolymerase that degrades the carbon storage molecule poly((R)-3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB). Asymbiotic Amanita do not carry sequence or structural homologues of these genes. The CE1s acquired through HGT may enable novel metabolisms, or play roles in signaling or defense. This is the first evidence for the horizontal transfer of carbohydrate metabolism genes into ectomycorrhizal fungi.

  2. High frequency of horizontal gene transfer in the oceans.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, Lauren D; Young, Elizabeth; Delaney, Jennifer; Ruhnau, Fabian; Ritchie, Kim B; Paul, John H

    2010-10-01

    Oceanic bacteria perform many environmental functions, including biogeochemical cycling of many elements, metabolizing of greenhouse gases, functioning in oceanic food webs (microbial loop), and producing valuable natural products and viruses. We demonstrate that the widespread capability of marine bacteria to participate in horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in coastal and oceanic environments may be the result of gene transfer agents (GTAs), viral-like particles produced by α-Proteobacteria. We documented GTA-mediated gene transfer frequencies a thousand to a hundred million times higher than prior estimates of HGT in the oceans, with as high as 47% of the culturable natural microbial community confirmed as gene recipients. These findings suggest a plausible mechanism by which marine bacteria acquire novel traits, thus ensuring resilience in the face of environmental change.

  3. Horizontal gene transfer from flowering plants to Gnetum

    PubMed Central

    Won, Hyosig; Renner, Susanne S.

    2003-01-01

    Although horizontal gene transfer is well documented in microbial genomes, no case has been reported in higher plants. We discovered horizontal transfer of the mitochondrial nad1 intron 2 and adjacent exons b and c from an asterid to Gnetum (Gnetales, gymnosperms). Gnetum has two copies of intron 2, a group II intron, that differ in their exons, nucleotide composition, domain lengths, and structural characteristics. One of the copies, limited to an Asian clade of Gnetum, is almost identical to the homologous locus in angiosperms, and partial sequences of its exons b and c show characteristic substitutions unique to angiosperms. Analyses of 70 seed plant nad1 exons b and c and intron 2 sequences, including representatives of all angiosperm clades, support that this copy originated from a euasterid and was horizontally transferred to Gnetum. Molecular clock dating, using calibrations provided by gnetalean macrofossils, suggests an age of 5 to 2 million years for the Asian clade that received the horizontal transfer. PMID:12963817

  4. Horizontal functional gene transfer from bacteria to fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Plasmid and clonal interference during post horizontal gene transfer evolution.

    PubMed

    Bedhomme, S; Perez Pantoja, D; Bravo, I G

    2017-04-01

    Plasmids are nucleic acid molecules that can drive their own replication in a living cell. They can be transmitted horizontally and can thrive in the host cell to high-copy numbers. Plasmid replication and gene expression consume cellular resources and cells carrying plasmids incur fitness costs. But many plasmids carry genes that can be beneficial under certain conditions, allowing the cell to endure in the presence of antibiotics, toxins, competitors or parasites. Horizontal transfer of plasmid-encoded genes can thus instantaneously confer differential adaptation to local or transient selection conditions. This conflict between cellular fitness and plasmid spread sets the scene for multilevel selection processes. We have engineered a system to study the short-term evolutionary impact of different synonymous versions of a plasmid-encoded antibiotic resistance gene. Applying experimental evolution under different selection conditions and deep sequencing allowed us to show rapid local adaptation to the presence of antibiotic and to the specific version of the resistance gene transferred. We describe the presence of clonal interference at two different levels: at the within-cell level, because a single cell can carry several plasmids, and at the between-cell level, because a bacterial population may contain several clones carrying different plasmids and displaying different fitness in the presence/absence of antibiotic. Understanding the within-cell and between-cell dynamics of plasmids after horizontal gene transfer is essential to unravel the dense network of mobile elements underlying the worldwide threat to public health of antibiotic resistance. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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

  8. Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes: the weak-link model.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jinling

    2013-10-01

    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.

  9. Horizontal gene transfer in nematodes: a catalyst for plant parasitism?

    PubMed

    Haegeman, Annelies; Jones, John T; Danchin, Etienne G J

    2011-08-01

    The origin of plant parasitism within the phylum Nematoda is intriguing. The ability to parasitize plants has originated independently at least three times during nematode evolution and, as more molecular data has emerged, it has become clear that multiple instances of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria and fungi have played a crucial role in the nematode's adaptation to this new lifestyle. The first reported HGT cases in plant-parasitic nematodes were genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes. Other putative examples of HGT were subsequently described, including genes that may be involved in the modulation of the plant's defense system, the establishment of a nematode feeding site, and the synthesis or processing of nutrients. Although, in many cases, it is difficult to pinpoint the donor organism, candidate donors are usually soil dwelling and are either plant-pathogenic or plant-associated microorganisms, hence occupying the same ecological niche as the nematodes. The exact mechanisms of transfer are unknown, although close contacts with donor microorganisms, such as symbiotic or trophic interactions, are a possibility. The widespread occurrence of horizontally transferred genes in evolutionarily independent plant-parasitic nematode lineages suggests that HGT may be a prerequisite for successful plant parasitism in nematodes.

  10. Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of methanogenic pathways.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Greg

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a driving force in the evolution of metabolic pathways, allowing novel enzymatic functions that provide a selective advantage to be rapidly incorporated into an organism's physiology. Here, the role of two HGT events in the evolution of methanogenesis is described. First, the acetoclastic sub-pathway of methanogenesis is shown to have evolved via a transfer of the ackA and pta genes from a cellulolytic clostridia to a family of methanogenic archaea. Second, the system for encoding the amino acid pyrrolysine, used for the synthesis of enzymes for methanogenesis from methylamines, is shown to likely have evolved via transfer from an ancient, unknown, deeply branching organismal lineage.

  11. 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.

  12. Quartet analysis of putative horizontal gene transfer in Crenarchaeota.

    PubMed

    Ching, Travers H; Yoza, Brandon A; Li, Qing X

    2014-02-01

    Horizontal gene transfers (HGT) between four Crenarchaeota species (Metallosphaera cuprina Ar-4T, Acidianus hospitalis W1T, Vulcanisaeta moutnovskia 768-28T, and Pyrobaculum islandicum DSM 4184T) were investigated with quartet analysis. Strong support was found for individual genes that disagree with the phylogeny of the majority, implying genomic mosaicism. One such gene, a ferredoxin-related gene, was investigated further and incorporated into a larger phylogeny, which provided evidence for HGT of this gene from the Vulcanisaeta lineage to the Acidianus lineage. This is the first application of quartet analysis of HGT for the phylum Crenarchaeota. The results have shown that quartet analysis is a powerful technique to screen homologous sequences for putative HGTs and is useful in visually describing genomic mosaicism and HGT within four taxa.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-27

    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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  14. 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

  15. Horizontal gene transfer and recombination in Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis

    PubMed Central

    McNeilly, Celia L.; McMillan, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (SDSE) is a human pathogen that colonizes the skin or throat, and causes a range of diseases from relatively benign pharyngitis to potentially fatal invasive diseases. While not as virulent as the close relative Streptococcus pyogenes the two share a number of virulence factors and are known to coexist in a human host. Both pre- and post-genomic studies have revealed that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and recombination occurs between these two organisms and plays a major role in shaping the population structure of SDSE. This review summarizes our current knowledge of HGT and recombination in the evolution of SDSE. PMID:25566202

  16. Replacing and Additive Horizontal Gene Transfer in Streptococcus

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Sang Chul; Rasmussen, Matthew D.; Hubisz, Melissa J.; Gronau, Ilan; Stanhope, Michael J.; Siepel, Adam

    2012-01-01

    The prominent role of Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) in the evolution of bacteria is now well documented, but few studies have differentiated between evolutionary events that predominantly cause genes in one lineage to be replaced by homologs from another lineage (“replacing HGT”) and events that result in the addition of substantial new genomic material (“additive HGT”). Here in, we make use of the distinct phylogenetic signatures of replacing and additive HGTs in a genome-wide study of the important human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (SPY) and its close relatives S. dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis (SDE) and S. dysgalactiae subspecies dysgalactiae (SDD). Using recently developed statistical models and computational methods, we find evidence for abundant gene flow of both kinds within each of the SPY and SDE clades and of reduced levels of exchange between SPY and SDD. In addition, our analysis strongly supports a pronounced asymmetry in SPY–SDE gene flow, favoring the SPY-to-SDE direction. This finding is of particular interest in light of the recent increase in virulence of pathogenic SDE. We find much stronger evidence for SPY–SDE gene flow among replacing than among additive transfers, suggesting a primary influence from homologous recombination between co-occurring SPY and SDE cells in human hosts. Putative virulence genes are correlated with transfer events, but this correlation is found to be driven by additive, not replacing, HGTs. The genes affected by additive HGTs are enriched for functions having to do with transposition, recombination, and DNA integration, consistent with previous findings, whereas replacing HGTs seen to influence a more diverse set of genes. Additive transfers are also found to be associated with evidence of positive selection. These findings shed new light on the manner in which HGT has shaped pathogenic bacterial genomes. PMID:22617954

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-04

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Phylogeographic support for horizontal gene transfer involving sympatric bruchid species

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez, Nadir; Benrey, Betty; Hossaert-McKey, Martine; Grill, Andrea; McKey, Doyle; Galtier, Nicolas

    2006-01-01

    Background We report on the probable horizontal transfer of a mitochondrial gene, cytb, between species of Neotropical bruchid beetles, in a zone where these species are sympatric. The bruchid beetles Acanthoscelides obtectus, A. obvelatus, A. argillaceus and Zabrotes subfasciatus develop on various bean species in Mexico. Whereas A. obtectus and A. obvelatus develop on Phaseolus vulgaris in the Mexican Altiplano, A. argillaceus feeds on P. lunatus in the Pacific coast. The generalist Z. subfasciatus feeds on both bean species, and is sympatric with A. obtectus and A. obvelatus in the Mexican Altiplano, and with A. argillaceus in the Pacific coast. In order to assess the phylogenetic position of these four species, we amplified and sequenced one nuclear (28S rRNA) and two mitochondrial (cytb, COI) genes. Results Whereas species were well segregated in topologies obtained for COI and 28S rRNA, an unexpected pattern was obtained in the cytb phylogenetic tree. In this tree, individuals from A. obtectus and A. obvelatus, as well as Z. subfasciatus individuals from the Mexican Altiplano, clustered together in a unique little variable monophyletic unit. In contrast, A. argillaceus and Z. subfasciatus individuals from the Pacific coast clustered in two separated clades, identically to the pattern obtained for COI and 28S rRNA. An additional analysis showed that Z. subfasciatus individuals from the Mexican Altiplano also possessed the cytb gene present in individuals of this species from the Pacific coast. Zabrotes subfasciatus individuals from the Mexican Altiplano thus demonstrated two cytb genes, an "original" one and an "infectious" one, showing 25% of nucleotide divergence. The "infectious" cytb gene seems to be under purifying selection and to be expressed in mitochondria. Conclusion The high degree of incongruence of the cytb tree with patterns for other genes is discussed in the light of three hypotheses: experimental contamination, hybridization, and

  20. 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

  1. Risks from GMOs due to horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Keese, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the stable transfer of genetic material from one organism to another without reproduction or human intervention. Transfer occurs by the passage of donor genetic material across cellular boundaries, followed by heritable incorporation to the genome of the recipient organism. In addition to conjugation, transformation and transduction, other diverse mechanisms of DNA and RNA uptake occur in nature. The genome of almost every organism reveals the footprint of many ancient HGT events. Most commonly, HGT involves the transmission of genes on viruses or mobile genetic elements. HGT first became an issue of public concern in the 1970s through the natural spread of antibiotic resistance genes amongst pathogenic bacteria, and more recently with commercial production of genetically modified (GM) crops. However, the frequency of HGT from plants to other eukaryotes or prokaryotes is extremely low. The frequency of HGT to viruses is potentially greater, but is restricted by stringent selection pressures. In most cases the occurrence of HGT from GM crops to other organisms is expected to be lower than background rates. Therefore, HGT from GM plants poses negligible risks to human health or the environment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Ancient horizontal gene transfer and the last common ancestors.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Gregory P; Andam, Cheryl P; Gogarten, Johann Peter

    2015-04-22

    The genomic history of prokaryotic organismal lineages is marked by extensive horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between groups of organisms at all taxonomic levels. These HGT events have played an essential role in the origin and distribution of biological innovations. Analyses of ancient gene families show that HGT existed in the distant past, even at the time of the organismal last universal common ancestor (LUCA). Most gene transfers originated in lineages that have since gone extinct. Therefore, one cannot assume that the last common ancestors of each gene were all present in the same cell representing the cellular ancestor of all extant life. Organisms existing as part of a diverse ecosystem at the time of LUCA likely shared genetic material between lineages. If these other lineages persisted for some time, HGT with the descendants of LUCA could have continued into the bacterial and archaeal lineages. Phylogenetic analyses of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase protein families support the hypothesis that the molecular common ancestors of the most ancient gene families did not all coincide in space and time. This is most apparent in the evolutionary histories of seryl-tRNA synthetase and threonyl-tRNA synthetase protein families, each containing highly divergent "rare" forms, as well as the sparse phylogenetic distributions of pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase, and the bacterial heterodimeric form of glycyl-tRNA synthetase. These topologies and phyletic distributions are consistent with horizontal transfers from ancient, likely extinct branches of the tree of life. Of all the organisms that may have existed at the time of LUCA, by definition only one lineage is survived by known progeny; however, this lineage retains a genomic record of heterogeneous genetic origins. The evolutionary histories of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) are especially informative in detecting this signal, as they perform primordial biological functions, have undergone several ancient HGT events, and

  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. 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

    2015-10-05

    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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Horizontal transfer of expressed genes in a parasitic flowering plant

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent studies have shown that plant genomes have potentially undergone rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT). In plant parasitic systems HGT appears to be facilitated by the intimate physical association between the parasite and its host. HGT in these systems has been invoked when a DNA sequence obtained from a parasite is placed phylogenetically very near to its host rather than with its closest relatives. Studies of HGT in parasitic plants have relied largely on the fortuitous discovery of gene phylogenies that indicate HGT, and no broad systematic search for HGT has been undertaken in parasitic systems where it is most expected to occur. Results We analyzed the transcriptomes of the holoparasite Rafflesia cantleyi Solms-Laubach and its obligate host Tetrastigma rafflesiae Miq. using phylogenomic approaches. Our analyses show that several dozen actively transcribed genes, most of which appear to be encoded in the nuclear genome, are likely of host origin. We also find that hundreds of vertically inherited genes (VGT) in this parasitic plant exhibit codon usage properties that are more similar to its host than to its closest relatives. Conclusions Our results establish for the first time a substantive number of HGTs in a plant host-parasite system. The elevated rate of unidirectional host-to- parasite gene transfer raises the possibility that HGTs may provide a fitness benefit to Rafflesia for maintaining these genes. Finally, a similar convergence in codon usage of VGTs has been shown in microbes with high HGT rates, which may help to explain the increase of HGTs in these parasitic plants. PMID:22681756

  7. Horizontal gene transfer: building the web of life.

    PubMed

    Soucy, Shannon M; Huang, Jinling; Gogarten, Johann Peter

    2015-08-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the sharing of genetic material between organisms that are not in a parent-offspring relationship. HGT is a widely recognized mechanism for adaptation in bacteria and archaea. Microbial antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity are often associated with HGT, but the scope of HGT extends far beyond disease-causing organisms. In this Review, we describe how HGT has shaped the web of life using examples of HGT among prokaryotes, between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and even between multicellular eukaryotes. We discuss replacement and additive HGT, the proposed mechanisms of HGT, selective forces that influence HGT, and the evolutionary impact of HGT on ancestral populations and existing populations such as the human microbiome.

  8. 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

  9. Interaction between conjugative and retrotransposable elements in horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  10. Horizontal transfers of transposable elements in eukaryotes: The flying genes.

    PubMed

    Panaud, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are the major components of eukaryotic genomes. Their propensity to densely populate and in some cases invade the genomes of plants and animals is in contradiction with the fact that transposition is strictly controlled by several molecular pathways acting at either transcriptional or post-transcriptional levels. Horizontal transfers, defined as the transmission of genetic material between sexually isolated species, have long been considered as rare phenomena. Here, we show that the horizontal transfers of transposable elements (HTTs) are very frequent in ecosystems. The exact mechanisms of such transfers are not well understood, but species involved in close biotic interactions, like parasitism, show a propensity to exchange genetic material horizontally. We propose that HTTs allow TEs to escape the silencing machinery of their host genome and may therefore be an important mechanism for their survival and their dissemination in eukaryotes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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. Diseases caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria are taking an important toll with respect to human morbidity and mortality. The most relevant antibiotic resistance genes come to human pathogens carried by plasmids, mainly using conjugation as a transmission mechanism. Here, we identified and characterized a series of compounds that were active against several plasmid groups of clinical relevance, in a wide variety of bacterial hosts. These inhibitors might be used for fighting antibiotic-resistance dissemination by inhibiting conjugation. Potential inhibitors could be used in specific settings (e.g., farm, fish factory, or even clinical settings) to

  12. Eukaryotic origin of a metabolic pathway in virus by horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2011-11-01

    Horizontal gene transfer, the movement of genetic materials across the normal mating barriers between organisms occurs frequently and contributes significantly to the evolution of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes. However, few concurrent transfers of functionally related genes implemented in a pathway from eukaryotes to prokaryotes are observed. Here, we did phylogenetic analyses to support that the genes, i.e. dihydrofolate reductase, glycine hydroxymethyltransferase, and thymidylate synthase involved in thymidylate metabolism, in Hz-1 virus were obtained from insect genome recently by independent horizontal gene transfers. In addition, five other related genes in nucleotide metabolism show evidences of horizontal gene transfers. These genes demonstrate similar expression pattern, and they may have formatted a functionally related pathway (e.g. thymidylate synthesis, and DNA replication) in Hz-1 virus. In conclusion, we provide an example of horizontal gene transfer of functionally related genes in a pathway to prokaryote from eukaryote. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Novel "Superspreader" Bacteriophages Promote Horizontal Gene Transfer by Transformation.

    PubMed

    Keen, Eric C; Bliskovsky, Valery V; Malagon, Francisco; Baker, James D; Prince, Jeffrey S; Klaus, James S; Adhya, Sankar L

    2017-01-17

    Bacteriophages infect an estimated 10(23) to 10(25) bacterial cells each second, many of which carry physiologically relevant plasmids (e.g., those encoding antibiotic resistance). However, even though phage-plasmid interactions occur on a massive scale and have potentially significant evolutionary, ecological, and biomedical implications, plasmid fate upon phage infection and lysis has not been investigated to date. Here we show that a subset of the natural lytic phage population, which we dub "superspreaders," releases substantial amounts of intact, transformable plasmid DNA upon lysis, thereby promoting horizontal gene transfer by transformation. Two novel Escherichia coli phage superspreaders, SUSP1 and SUSP2, liberated four evolutionarily distinct plasmids with equal efficiency, including two close relatives of prominent antibiotic resistance vectors in natural environments. SUSP2 also mediated the extensive lateral transfer of antibiotic resistance in unbiased communities of soil bacteria from Maryland and Wyoming. Furthermore, the addition of SUSP2 to cocultures of kanamycin-resistant E. coli and kanamycin-sensitive Bacillus sp. bacteria resulted in roughly 1,000-fold more kanamycin-resistant Bacillus sp. bacteria than arose in phage-free controls. Unlike many other lytic phages, neither SUSP1 nor SUSP2 encodes homologs to known hydrolytic endonucleases, suggesting a simple potential mechanism underlying the superspreading phenotype. Consistent with this model, the deletion of endonuclease IV and the nucleoid-disrupting protein ndd from coliphage T4, a phage known to extensively degrade chromosomal DNA, significantly increased its ability to promote plasmid transformation. Taken together, our results suggest that phage superspreaders may play key roles in microbial evolution and ecology but should be avoided in phage therapy and other medical applications.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Phylogenetic analyses of cyanobacterial genomes: Quantification of horizontal gene transfer events

    PubMed Central

    Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Gogarten, J. Peter; Charlebois, Robert L.; Doolittle, W. Ford; Papke, R. Thane

    2006-01-01

    Using 1128 protein-coding gene families from 11 completely sequenced cyanobacterial genomes, we attempt to quantify horizontal gene transfer events within cyanobacteria, as well as between cyanobacteria and other phyla. A novel method of detecting and enumerating potential horizontal gene transfer events within a group of organisms based on analyses of “embedded quartets” allows us to identify phylogenetic signal consistent with a plurality of gene families, as well as to delineate cases of conflict to the plurality signal, which include horizontally transferred genes. To infer horizontal gene transfer events between cyanobacteria and other phyla, we added homologs from 168 available genomes. We screened phylogenetic trees reconstructed for each of these extended gene families for highly supported monophyly of cyanobacteria (or lack of it). Cyanobacterial genomes reveal a complex evolutionary history, which cannot be represented by a single strictly bifurcating tree for all genes or even most genes, although a single completely resolved phylogeny was recovered from the quartets’ plurality signals. We find more conflicts within cyanobacteria than between cyanobacteria and other phyla. We also find that genes from all functional categories are subject to transfer. However, in interphylum as compared to intraphylum transfers, the proportion of metabolic (operational) gene transfers increases, while the proportion of informational gene transfers decreases. PMID:16899658

  20. 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Identification of multiple independent horizontal gene transfers into poxviruses using a comparative genomics approach

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Poxviruses are important pathogens of humans, livestock and wild animals. These large dsDNA viruses have a set of core orthologs whose gene order is extremely well conserved throughout poxvirus genera. They also contain many genes with sequence and functional similarity to host genes which were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Although phylogenetic trees can indicate the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer and even uncover multiple events, their use may be hampered by uncertainties in both the topology and the rooting of the tree. We propose to use synteny conservation around the horizontally transferred gene (HTgene) to distinguish between single and multiple events. Results Here we devise a method that incorporates comparative genomic information into the investigation of horizontal gene transfer, and we apply this method to poxvirus genomes. We examined the synteny conservation around twenty four pox genes that we identified, or which were reported in the literature, as candidate HTgenes. We found support for multiple independent transfers into poxviruses for five HTgenes. Three of these genes are known to be important for the survival of the virus in or out of the host cell and one of them increases susceptibility to some antiviral drugs. Conclusion In related genomes conserved synteny information can provide convincing evidence for multiple independent horizontal gene transfer events even in the absence of a robust phylogenetic tree for the HTgene. PMID:18304319

  2. Genome-wide identification of horizontal gene transfer in Fusarium verticillioides

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the exchange and stable integration of genetic material between different lineages, breaks species boundaries and generates new biological diversity. In eukaryotes, despite potential barriers, like the nuclear envelope and multicellularity, HGT may be facilitated by t...

  3. Horizontal Gene Transfer is a Significant Driver of Gene Innovation in Dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Wisecaver, Jennifer H.; Brosnahan, Michael L.; Hackett, Jeremiah D.

    2013-01-01

    The dinoflagellates are an evolutionarily and ecologically important group of microbial eukaryotes. Previous work suggests that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important source of gene innovation in these organisms. However, dinoflagellate genomes are notoriously large and complex, making genomic investigation of this phenomenon impractical with currently available sequencing technology. Fortunately, de novo transcriptome sequencing and assembly provides an alternative approach for investigating HGT. We sequenced the transcriptome of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense Group IV to investigate how HGT has contributed to gene innovation in this group. Our comprehensive A. tamarense Group IV gene set was compared with those of 16 other eukaryotic genomes. Ancestral gene content reconstruction of ortholog groups shows that A. tamarense Group IV has the largest number of gene families gained (314–1,563 depending on inference method) relative to all other organisms in the analysis (0–782). Phylogenomic analysis indicates that genes horizontally acquired from bacteria are a significant proportion of this gene influx, as are genes transferred from other eukaryotes either through HGT or endosymbiosis. The dinoflagellates also display curious cases of gene loss associated with mitochondrial metabolism including the entire Complex I of oxidative phosphorylation. Some of these missing genes have been functionally replaced by bacterial and eukaryotic xenologs. The transcriptome of A. tamarense Group IV lends strong support to a growing body of evidence that dinoflagellate genomes are extraordinarily impacted by HGT. PMID:24259313

  4. Indication of Horizontal DNA Gene Transfer by Extracellular Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Speiseder, Thomas; Badbaran, Anita; Reimer, Rudolph; Indenbirken, Daniela; Grundhoff, Adam; Brunswig-Spickenheier, Bärbel; Alawi, Malik; Lange, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    The biological relevance of extracellular vesicles (EV) in intercellular communication has been well established. Thus far, proteins and RNA were described as main cargo. Here, we show that EV released from human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-hMSC) also carry high-molecular DNA in addition. Extensive EV characterization revealed this DNA mainly associated with the outer EV membrane and to a smaller degree also inside the EV. Our EV purification protocol secured that DNA is not derived from apoptotic or necrotic cells. To analyze the relevance of EV-associated DNA we lentivirally transduced Arabidopsis thaliana-DNA (A.t.-DNA) as indicator into BM-hMSC and generated EV. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) techniques we detected high copy numbers of A.t.-DNA in EV. In recipient hMSC incubated with tagged EV for two weeks we identified A.t.-DNA transferred to recipient cells. Investigation of recipient cell DNA using quantitative PCR and verification of PCR-products by sequencing suggested stable integration of A.t.-DNA. In conclusion, for the first time our proof-of-principle experiments point to horizontal DNA transfer into recipient cells via EV. Based on our results we assume that eukaryotic cells are able to exchange genetic information in form of DNA extending the known cargo of EV by genomic DNA. This mechanism might be of relevance in cancer but also during cell evolution and development. PMID:27684368

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

    DOE PAGES

    Dhillon, Braham; Feau, Nicolas; Aerts, Andrea L.; ...

    2015-03-02

    Some of the most damaging tree diseases are caused by pathogens that induce cankers, a stem deformation often lethal. To investigate the cause of this adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of poplar pathogens that do and do not cause cankers. We found a unique cluster of genes that produce secondary metabolites and are co-activated when the canker pathogen is grown on poplar wood and leaves. The gene genealogy is discordant with the species phylogeny, showing a signature of horizontal transfer from fungi associated with wood decay. Furthermore, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes are up-regulated on poplar wood chips, with some havingmore » been acquired horizontally. In conclusion, we propose that adaptation to colonize poplar woody stems is the result of acquisition of these genes.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

    2015-03-02

    Some of the most damaging tree diseases are caused by pathogens that induce cankers, a stem deformation often lethal. To investigate the cause of this adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of poplar pathogens that do and do not cause cankers. We found a unique cluster of genes that produce secondary metabolites and are co-activated when the canker pathogen is grown on poplar wood and leaves. The gene genealogy is discordant with the species phylogeny, showing a signature of horizontal transfer from fungi associated with wood decay. Furthermore, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes are up-regulated on poplar wood chips, with some having been acquired horizontally. In conclusion, we propose that adaptation to colonize poplar woody stems is the result of acquisition of these genes.

  7. A new computational method for the detection of horizontal gene transfer events.

    PubMed

    Tsirigos, Aristotelis; Rigoutsos, Isidore

    2005-01-01

    In recent years, the increase in the amounts of available genomic data has made it easier to appreciate the extent by which organisms increase their genetic diversity through horizontally transferred genetic material. Such transfers have the potential to give rise to extremely dynamic genomes where a significant proportion of their coding DNA has been contributed by external sources. Because of the impact of these horizontal transfers on the ecological and pathogenic character of the recipient organisms, methods are continuously sought that are able to computationally determine which of the genes of a given genome are products of transfer events. In this paper, we introduce and discuss a novel computational method for identifying horizontal transfers that relies on a gene's nucleotide composition and obviates the need for knowledge of codon boundaries. In addition to being applicable to individual genes, the method can be easily extended to the case of clusters of horizontally transferred genes. With the help of an extensive and carefully designed set of experiments on 123 archaeal and bacterial genomes, we demonstrate that the new method exhibits significant improvement in sensitivity when compared to previously published approaches. In fact, it achieves an average relative improvement across genomes of between 11 and 41% compared to the Codon Adaptation Index method in distinguishing native from foreign genes. Our method's horizontal gene transfer predictions for 123 microbial genomes are available online at http://cbcsrv.watson.ibm.com/HGT/.

  8. Distant horizontal gene transfer is rare for multiple families of prokaryotic insertion sequences.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Andreas; de la Chaux, Nicole

    2008-11-01

    Horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes is rampant on short and intermediate evolutionary time scales. It poses a fundamental problem to our ability to reconstruct the evolutionary tree of life. Is it also frequent over long evolutionary distances? To address this question, we analyzed the evolution of 2,091 insertion sequences from all 20 major families in 438 completely sequenced prokaryotic genomes. Specifically, we mapped insertion sequence occurrence on a 16S rDNA tree of the genomes we analyzed, and we also constructed phylogenetic trees of the insertion sequence transposase coding sequences. We found only 30 cases of likely horizontal transfer among distantly related prokaryotic clades. Most of these horizontal transfer events are ancient. Only seven events are recent. Almost all of these transfer events occur between pairs of human pathogens or commensals. If true also for other, non-mobile DNA, the rarity of distant horizontal transfer increases the odds of reliable phylogenetic inference from sequence data.

  9. Identification of horizontally transferred genes in the genus Colletotrichum reveals a steady tempo of bacterial to fungal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Vinicio D Armijos; Sukno, Serenella A; Thon, Michael R

    2015-01-02

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the stable transmission of genetic material between organisms by means other than vertical inheritance. HGT has an important role in the evolution of prokaryotes but is relatively rare in eukaryotes. HGT has been shown to contribute to virulence in eukaryotic pathogens. We studied the importance of HGT in plant pathogenic fungi by identifying horizontally transferred genes in the genomes of three members of the genus Colletotrichum. We identified eleven HGT events from bacteria into members of the genus Colletotrichum or their ancestors. The HGT events include genes involved in amino acid, lipid and sugar metabolism as well as lytic enzymes. Additionally, the putative minimal dates of transference were calculated using a time calibrated phylogenetic tree. This analysis reveals a constant flux of genes from bacteria to fungi throughout the evolution of subphylum Pezizomycotina. Genes that are typically transferred by HGT are those that are constantly subject to gene duplication and gene loss. The functions of some of these genes suggest roles in niche adaptation and virulence. We found no evidence of a burst of HGT events coinciding with major geological events. In contrast, HGT appears to be a constant, albeit rare phenomenon in the Pezizomycotina, occurring at a steady rate during their evolution.

  10. Selfish Operons: Horizontal Transfer May Drive the Evolution of Gene Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, J. G.; Roth, J. R.

    1996-01-01

    A model is presented whereby the formation of gene clusters in bacteria is mediated by transfer of DNA within and among taxa. Bacterial operons are typically composed of genes whose products contribute to a single function. If this function is subject to weak selection or to long periods with no selection, the contributing genes may accumulate mutations and be lost by genetic drift. From a cell's perspective, once several genes are lost, the function can be restored only if all missing genes were acquired simultaneously by lateral transfer. The probability of transfer of multiple genes increases when genes are physically proximate. From a gene's perspective, horizontal transfer provides a way to escape evolutionary loss by allowing colonization of organisms lacking the encoded functions. Since organisms bearing clustered genes are more likely to act as successful donors, clustered genes would spread among bacterial genomes. The physical proximity of genes may be considered a selfish property of the operon since it affects the probability of successful horizontal transfer but may provide no physiological benefit to the host. This process predicts a mosaic structure of modern genomes in which ancestral chromosomal material is interspersed with novel, horizontally transferred operons providing peripheral metabolic functions. PMID:8844169

  11. Horizontal Gene Transfer and Its Part in the Reorganisation of Genetics during the LUCA Epoch

    PubMed Central

    Jheeta, Sohan

    2013-01-01

    Currently there are five known mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer (HGT): transduction, conjugation, transformation, gene transfer agents and membrane vesicle transfer. The question here is: what part did HGT play in the reorganisation of genetics during the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) epoch? LUCA is a construct to explain the origin of the three domains of life; namely Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. This editorial offers a general introduction to the relevance and ultimate significance of HGT in relation to the LUCA. PMID:25369883

  12. Horizontal Gene Transfer and Its Part in the Reorganisation of Genetics during the LUCA Epoch.

    PubMed

    Jheeta, Sohan

    2013-10-28

    Currently there are five known mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer (HGT): transduction, conjugation, transformation, gene transfer agents and membrane vesicle transfer. The question here is: what part did HGT play in the reorganisation of genetics during the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) epoch? LUCA is a construct to explain the origin of the three domains of life; namely Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. This editorial offers a general introduction to the relevance and ultimate significance of HGT in relation to the LUCA. [...].

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Horizontal gene transfer of microbial cellulases into nematode genomes is associated with functional assimilation and gene turnover

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Natural acquisition of novel genes from other organisms by horizontal or lateral gene transfer is well established for microorganisms. There is now growing evidence that horizontal gene transfer also plays important roles in the evolution of eukaryotes. Genome-sequencing and EST projects of plant and animal associated nematodes such as Brugia, Meloidogyne, Bursaphelenchus and Pristionchus indicate horizontal gene transfer as a key adaptation towards parasitism and pathogenicity. However, little is known about the functional activity and evolutionary longevity of genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer and the mechanisms favoring such processes. Results We examine the transfer of cellulase genes to the free-living and beetle-associated nematode Pristionchus pacificus, for which detailed phylogenetic knowledge is available, to address predictions by evolutionary theory for successful gene transfer. We used transcriptomics in seven Pristionchus species and three other related diplogastrid nematodes with a well-defined phylogenetic framework to study the evolution of ancestral cellulase genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer. We performed intra-species, inter-species and inter-genic analysis by comparing the transcriptomes of these ten species and tested for cellulase activity in each species. Species with cellulase genes in their transcriptome always exhibited cellulase activity indicating functional integration into the host's genome and biology. The phylogenetic profile of cellulase genes was congruent with the species phylogeny demonstrating gene longevity. Cellulase genes show notable turnover with elevated birth and death rates. Comparison by sequencing of three selected cellulase genes in 24 natural isolates of Pristionchus pacificus suggests these high evolutionary dynamics to be associated with copy number variations and positive selection. Conclusion We could demonstrate functional integration of acquired cellulase genes into the nematode

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The Impact of Gene Silencing on Horizontal Gene Transfer and Bacterial Evolution.

    PubMed

    Navarre, W W

    2016-01-01

    The H-NS family of DNA-binding proteins is the subject of intense study due to its important roles in the regulation of horizontally acquired genes critical for virulence, antibiotic resistance, and metabolism. Xenogeneic silencing proteins, typified by the H-NS protein of Escherichia coli, specifically target and downregulate expression from AT-rich genes by selectively recognizing specific structural features unique to the AT-rich minor groove. In doing so, these proteins facilitate bacterial evolution; enabling these cells to engage in horizontal gene transfer while buffering potential any detrimental fitness consequences that may result from it. Xenogeneic silencing and counter-silencing explain how bacterial cells can evolve effective gene regulatory strategies in the face of rampant gene gain and loss and it has extended our understanding of bacterial gene regulation beyond the classic operon model. Here we review the structures and mechanisms of xenogeneic silencers as well as their impact on bacterial evolution. Several H-NS-like proteins appear to play a role in facilitating gene transfer by other mechanisms including by regulating transposition, conjugation, and participating in the activation of virulence loci like the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island of pathogenic strains of E. coli. Evidence suggests that the critical determinants that dictate whether an H-NS-like protein will be a silencer or will perform a different function do not lie in the DNA-binding domain but, rather, in the domains that control oligomerization. This suggests that H-NS-like proteins are transcription factors that both recognize and alter the shape of DNA to exert specific effects that include but are not limited to gene silencing. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  19. Incorporation of a horizontally transferred gene into an operon during cnidarian evolution.

    PubMed

    Dana, Catherine E; Glauber, Kristine M; Chan, Titus A; Bridge, Diane M; Steele, Robert E

    2012-01-01

    Genome sequencing has revealed examples of horizontally transferred genes, but we still know little about how such genes are incorporated into their host genomes. We have previously reported the identification of a gene (flp) that appears to have entered the Hydra genome through horizontal transfer. Here we provide additional evidence in support of our original hypothesis that the transfer was from a unicellular organism, and we show that the transfer occurred in an ancestor of two medusozoan cnidarian species. In addition we show that the gene is part of a bicistronic operon in the Hydra genome. These findings identify a new animal phylum in which trans-spliced leader addition has led to the formation of operons, and define the requirements for evolution of an operon in Hydra. The identification of operons in Hydra also provides a tool that can be exploited in the construction of transgenic Hydra strains.

  20. Incorporation of a Horizontally Transferred Gene into an Operon during Cnidarian Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Dana, Catherine E.; Glauber, Kristine M.; Chan, Titus A.; Bridge, Diane M.; Steele, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    Genome sequencing has revealed examples of horizontally transferred genes, but we still know little about how such genes are incorporated into their host genomes. We have previously reported the identification of a gene (flp) that appears to have entered the Hydra genome through horizontal transfer. Here we provide additional evidence in support of our original hypothesis that the transfer was from a unicellular organism, and we show that the transfer occurred in an ancestor of two medusozoan cnidarian species. In addition we show that the gene is part of a bicistronic operon in the Hydra genome. These findings identify a new animal phylum in which trans-spliced leader addition has led to the formation of operons, and define the requirements for evolution of an operon in Hydra. The identification of operons in Hydra also provides a tool that can be exploited in the construction of transgenic Hydra strains. PMID:22328943

  1. Horizontal gene transfer from diverse bacteria to an insect genome enables a tripartite nested mealybug symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Husnik, Filip; Nikoh, Naruo; Koga, Ryuichi; Ross, Laura; Duncan, Rebecca P; Fujie, Manabu; Tanaka, Makiko; Satoh, Nori; Bachtrog, Doris; Wilson, Alex C C; von Dohlen, Carol D; Fukatsu, Takema; McCutcheon, John P

    2013-06-20

    The smallest reported bacterial genome belongs to Tremblaya princeps, a symbiont of Planococcus citri mealybugs (PCIT). Tremblaya PCIT not only has a 139 kb genome, but possesses its own bacterial endosymbiont, Moranella endobia. Genome and transcriptome sequencing, including genome sequencing from a Tremblaya lineage lacking intracellular bacteria, reveals that the extreme genomic degeneracy of Tremblaya PCIT likely resulted from acquiring Moranella as an endosymbiont. In addition, at least 22 expressed horizontally transferred genes from multiple diverse bacteria to the mealybug genome likely complement missing symbiont genes. However, none of these horizontally transferred genes are from Tremblaya, showing that genome reduction in this symbiont has not been enabled by gene transfer to the host nucleus. Our results thus indicate that the functioning of this three-way symbiosis is dependent on genes from at least six lineages of organisms and reveal a path to intimate endosymbiosis distinct from that followed by organelles.

  2. Comparative analysis of magnetosome gene clusters in magnetotactic bacteria provides further evidence for horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Jogler, Christian; Kube, Michael; Schübbe, Sabrina; Ullrich, Susanne; Teeling, Hanno; Bazylinski, Dennis A; Reinhardt, Richard; Schüler, Dirk

    2009-05-01

    The organization of magnetosome genes was analysed in all available complete or partial genomic sequences of magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), including the magnetosome island (MAI) of the magnetotactic marine vibrio strain MV-1 determined in this study. The MAI was found to differ in gene content and organization between Magnetospirillum species and strains MV-1 or MC-1. Although a similar organization of magnetosome genes was found in all MTB, distinct variations in gene order and sequence similarity were uncovered that may account for the observed diversity of biomineralization, cell biology and magnetotaxis found in various MTB. While several magnetosome genes were present in all MTB, others were confined to Magnetospirillum species, indicating that the minimal set of genes required for magnetosome biomineralization might be smaller than previously suggested. A number of novel candidate genes were implicated in magnetosome formation by gene cluster comparison. Based on phylogenetic and compositional evidence we present a model for the evolution of magnetotaxis within the Alphaproteobacteria, which suggests the independent horizontal transfer of magnetosome genes from an unknown ancestor of magnetospirilla into strains MC-1 and MV-1.

  3. Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Evolution of Bacterial and Archaeal Population Structure

    PubMed Central

    Alm, Eric J.; Hanage, William P.

    2013-01-01

    Many bacterial and archaeal lineages have a history of extensive and ongoing horizontal gene transfer and loss, as evidenced by the large differences in genome content even among otherwise closely related isolates. How ecologically cohesive populations might evolve and be maintained under such conditions of rapid gene turnover has remained controversial. Here we synthesize recent literature demonstrating the importance of habitat and niche in structuring horizontal gene transfer. This leads to a model of ecological speciation via gradual genetic isolation triggered by differential habitat association of nascent populations. Further, we hypothesize that subpopulations can evolve through local gene exchange networks by tapping into a gene pool that is adaptive towards local, continuously changing organismic interactions and is, to a large degree, responsible for the observed rapid gene turnover. Overall, these insights help explain how bacteria and archaea form populations that display both ecological cohesion and high genomic diversity. PMID:23332119

  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. 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

  6. Evidence for Horizontal Gene Transfer as Origin of Putrescine Production in Oenococcus oeni RM83▿

    PubMed Central

    Marcobal, Ángela; de las Rivas, Blanca; Moreno-Arribas, M. Victoria; Muñoz, Rosario

    2006-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence of a 17.2-kb chromosomal DNA fragment containing the odc gene encoding ornithine decarboxylase has been determined in the putrescine producer Oenococcus oeni RM83. This DNA fragment contains 13 open reading frames, including genes coding for five transposases and two phage proteins. This description might represent the first evidence of a horizontal gene transfer event as the origin of a biogenic amine biosynthetic locus. PMID:17056681

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Role of Vibrio cholerae exochitinase ChiA2 in horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Moumita; Chatterjee, Nabendu Sekhar

    2016-03-01

    Vibrio cholerae exochitinase ChiA2 plays a key role in acquisition of nutrients by chitin hydrolysis in the natural environment as well as in pathogenesis in the intestinal milieu. In this study we demonstrate the importance of ChiA2 in horizontal gene transfer in the natural environment. We found that the expression of ChiA2 and TfoX, the central regulator of V. cholerae horizontal gene transfer, varied with changes in environmental conditions. The activity of ChiA2 was also dependent on these conditions. In 3 different environmental conditions tested here, we observed that the supporting environmental condition for maximum expression and activity of ChiA2 was 20 °C, pH 5.5, and 100 mmol/L salinity in the presence of chitin. The same condition also induced TfoX expression and was favorable for horizontal gene transfer in V. cholerae. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that ChiA2 released a significant amount of (GlcNAc)2 from chitin hydrolysis under the favorable condition. We hypothesized that under the favorable environmental condition, ChiA2 was upregulated and maximally active to produce a significant amount of (GlcNAc)2 from chitin. The same environmental condition also induced tfoX expression, followed by its translational activation by the (GlcNAc)2 produced, leading to efficient horizontal gene transfer.

  10. Evolution of Acetoclastic Methanogenesis in Methanosarcina via Horizontal Gene Transfer from Cellulolytic Clostridia▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Gregory P.; Gogarten, J. Peter

    2008-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that two genes required for acetoclastic methanogenesis, ackA and pta, were horizontally transferred to the ancestor of Methanosarcina from a derived cellulolytic organism in the class Clostridia. This event likely occurred within the last 475 million years, causing profound changes in planetary methane biogeochemistry. PMID:18055595

  11. Horizontal Gene Transfer among Bacteria and Its Role in Biological Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Arber, Werner

    2014-01-01

    This is a contribution to the history of scientific advance in the past 70 years concerning the identification of genetic information, its molecular structure, the identification of its functions and the molecular mechanisms of its evolution. Particular attention is thereby given to horizontal gene transfer among microorganisms, as well as to biosafety considerations with regard to beneficial applications of acquired scientific knowledge. PMID:25370194

  12. Witnessing Genome Evolution: Experimental Reconstruction of Endosymbiotic and Horizontal Gene Transfer.

    PubMed

    Bock, Ralph

    2017-08-28

    Present day mitochondria and plastids (chloroplasts) evolved from formerly free-living bacteria that were acquired through endosymbiosis more than a billion years ago. Conversion of the bacterial endosymbionts into cell organelles involved the massive translocation of genetic material from the organellar genomes to the nucleus. The development of transformation technologies for organellar genomes has made it possible to reconstruct this endosymbiotic gene transfer in laboratory experiments and study the mechanisms involved. Recently, the horizontal transfer of genetic information between organisms has also become amenable to experimental investigation. It led to the discovery of horizontal genome transfer as an asexual process generating new species and new combinations of nuclear and organellar genomes. This review describes experimental approaches towards studying endosymbiotic and horizontal gene transfer processes, discusses the new knowledge gained from these approaches about both the evolutionary significance of gene transfer and the underlying molecular mechanisms, and highlights exciting possibilities to exploit gene and genome transfer in biotechnology and synthetic biology. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Genetics Volume 51 is November 23, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  13. Investigation of horizontal gene transfer in poplar/Amanita muscaria ectomycorrhizas.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chi; Hampp, Rüdiger; Nehls, Uwe

    2005-01-01

    Fine roots of forest trees form together with certain soil fungi symbiotic structures (ectomycorrhizas), where fungal hyphae are in intimate contact with plant cells. Due to root cell degeneration, plant DNA is released and could be taken up by the fungus. The possibility that horizontal gene transfer might result in a risk for the environment should be evaluated before a massive release of genetically engineered trees into nature occurs, even though only a few convincing examples of horizontal gene transfer are known. Transgenic poplars containing a construct of the Streptomyces hygroscopicus bar gene under the control of the Cochliobolus heterostrophus GPD (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) promoter were generated by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The functionality of this construct in the ectomycorrhizal model fungus Amanita muscaria was previously verified by protoplast-based fungal transformation. 35,000 ectomycorrhizas, formed between transgenic poplars and non-transgenic A. muscaria hyphae, were isolated and transferred to selective agar plates. Putative herbicide-resistant fungal colonies were obtained after the first round of selection. However, none of these colonies survived a transfer onto fresh selection medium, nor did they contain the bar gene, indicating that no horizontal gene transfer from poplar to A. muscaria occurred during symbiosis under axenic conditions. However, since ectomycorrhizas are associated under natural conditions with viruses, bacteria and other fungi, these additional associations should be evaluated in future.

  14. Horizontal gene transfer of chlamydial-like tRNA genes into early vascular plant mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Knie, Nils; Polsakiewicz, Monika; Knoop, Volker

    2015-03-01

    Mitochondrial genomes of lycophytes are surprisingly diverse, including strikingly different transfer RNA (tRNA) gene complements: No mitochondrial tRNA genes are present in the spikemoss Selaginella moellendorffii, whereas 26 tRNAs are encoded in the chondrome of the clubmoss Huperzia squarrosa. Reinvestigating the latter we found that trnL(gag) and trnS(gga) had never before been identified in any other land plant mitochondrial DNA. Sensitive sequence comparisons showed these two tRNAs as well as trnN(guu) and trnS(gcu) to be very similar to their respective counterparts in chlamydial bacteria. We identified homologs of these chlamydial-type tRNAs also in other lycophyte, fern, and gymnosperm DNAs, suggesting horizontal gene transfer (HGT) into mitochondria in the early vascular plant stem lineages. These findings extend plant mitochondrial HGT to affect individual tRNA genes, to include bacterial donors, and suggest that Chlamydiae on top of their recently proposed key role in primary chloroplast establishment may also have participated in early tracheophyte genome evolution.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Genomic differentiation among wild cyanophages despite widespread horizontal gene transfer

    DOE PAGES

    Gregory, Ann C.; Solonenko, Sergei A.; Ignacio-Espinoza, J. Cesar; ...

    2016-11-16

    Genetic recombination is a driving force in genome evolution. Among viruses it has a dual role. For genomes with higher fitness, it maintains genome integrity in the face of high mutation rates. Conversely, for genomes with lower fitness, it provides immediate access to sequence space that cannot be reached by mutation alone. Understanding how recombination impacts the cohesion and dissolution of individual whole genomes within viral sequence space is poorly understood across double-stranded DNA bacteriophages (a.k.a phages) due to the challenges of obtaining appropriately scaled genomic datasets. Here in this study we explore the role of recombination in both maintainingmore » and differentiating whole genomes of 142 wild double-stranded DNA marine cyanophages. Phylogenomic analysis across the 51 core genes revealed ten lineages, six of which were well represented. These phylogenomic lineages represent discrete genotypic populations based on comparisons of intra- and inter- lineage shared gene content, genome-wide average nucleotide identity, as well as detected gaps in the distribution of pairwise differences between genomes. McDonald-Kreitman selection tests identified putative niche-differentiating genes under positive selection that differed across the six well-represented genotypic populations and that may have driven initial divergence. Concurrent with patterns of recombination of discrete populations, recombination analyses of both genic and intergenic regions largely revealed decreased genetic exchange across individual genomes between relative to within populations. Lastly, these findings suggest that discrete double-stranded DNA marine cyanophage populations occur in nature and are maintained by patterns of recombination akin to those observed in bacteria, archaea and in sexual eukaryotes.« less

  18. Genomic differentiation among wild cyanophages despite widespread horizontal gene transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Gregory, Ann C.; Solonenko, Sergei A.; Ignacio-Espinoza, J. Cesar; LaButti, Kurt; Copeland, Alex; Sudek, Sebastian; Maitland, Ashley; Chittick, Lauren; dos Santos, Filipa; Weitz, Joshua S.; Worden, Alexandra Z.; Woyke, Tanja; Sullivan, Matthew B.

    2016-11-16

    Genetic recombination is a driving force in genome evolution. Among viruses it has a dual role. For genomes with higher fitness, it maintains genome integrity in the face of high mutation rates. Conversely, for genomes with lower fitness, it provides immediate access to sequence space that cannot be reached by mutation alone. Understanding how recombination impacts the cohesion and dissolution of individual whole genomes within viral sequence space is poorly understood across double-stranded DNA bacteriophages (a.k.a phages) due to the challenges of obtaining appropriately scaled genomic datasets. Here in this study we explore the role of recombination in both maintaining and differentiating whole genomes of 142 wild double-stranded DNA marine cyanophages. Phylogenomic analysis across the 51 core genes revealed ten lineages, six of which were well represented. These phylogenomic lineages represent discrete genotypic populations based on comparisons of intra- and inter- lineage shared gene content, genome-wide average nucleotide identity, as well as detected gaps in the distribution of pairwise differences between genomes. McDonald-Kreitman selection tests identified putative niche-differentiating genes under positive selection that differed across the six well-represented genotypic populations and that may have driven initial divergence. Concurrent with patterns of recombination of discrete populations, recombination analyses of both genic and intergenic regions largely revealed decreased genetic exchange across individual genomes between relative to within populations. Lastly, these findings suggest that discrete double-stranded DNA marine cyanophage populations occur in nature and are maintained by patterns of recombination akin to those observed in bacteria, archaea and in sexual eukaryotes.

  19. 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

  20. Supra-operonic clusters of functionally related genes (SOCs) are a source of horizontal gene co-transfers

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Tin Yau; Lercher, Martin J.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptation of bacteria occurs predominantly via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). While it is widely recognized that horizontal acquisitions frequently encompass multiple genes, it is unclear what the size distribution of successfully transferred DNA segments looks like and what evolutionary forces shape this distribution. Here, we identified 1790 gene family pairs that were consistently co-gained on the same branches across a phylogeny of 53 E. coli strains. We estimated a lower limit of their genomic distances at the time they were transferred to their host genomes; this distribution shows a sharp upper bound at 30 kb. The same gene-pairs can have larger distances (up to 70 kb) in other genomes. These more distant pairs likely represent recent acquisitions via transduction that involve the co-transfer of excised prophage genes, as they are almost always associated with intervening phage-associated genes. The observed distribution of genomic distances of co-transferred genes is much broader than expected from a model based on the co-transfer of genes within operons; instead, this distribution is highly consistent with the size distribution of supra-operonic clusters (SOCs), groups of co-occurring and co-functioning genes that extend beyond operons. Thus, we propose that SOCs form a basic unit of horizontal gene transfer. PMID:28067311

  1. Phylogenetic analysis of the incidence of lux gene horizontal transfer in Vibrionaceae.

    PubMed

    Urbanczyk, Henryk; Ast, Jennifer C; Kaeding, Allison J; Oliver, James D; Dunlap, Paul V

    2008-05-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is thought to occur frequently in bacteria in nature and to play an important role in bacterial evolution, contributing to the formation of new species. To gain insight into the frequency of HGT in Vibrionaceae and its possible impact on speciation, we assessed the incidence of interspecies transfer of the lux genes (luxCDABEG), which encode proteins involved in luminescence, a distinctive phenotype. Three hundred three luminous strains, most of which were recently isolated from nature and which represent 11 Aliivibrio, Photobacterium, and Vibrio species, were screened for incongruence of phylogenies based on a representative housekeeping gene (gyrB or pyrH) and a representative lux gene (luxA). Strains exhibiting incongruence were then subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis of horizontal transfer by using multiple housekeeping genes (gyrB, recA, and pyrH) and multiple lux genes (luxCDABEG). In nearly all cases, housekeeping gene and lux gene phylogenies were congruent, and there was no instance in which the lux genes of one luminous species had replaced the lux genes of another luminous species. Therefore, the lux genes are predominantly vertically inherited in Vibrionaceae. The few exceptions to this pattern of congruence were as follows: (i) the lux genes of the only known luminous strain of Vibrio vulnificus, VVL1 (ATCC 43382), were evolutionarily closely related to the lux genes of Vibrio harveyi; (ii) the lux genes of two luminous strains of Vibrio chagasii, 21N-12 and SB-52, were closely related to those of V. harveyi and Vibrio splendidus, respectively; (iii) the lux genes of a luminous strain of Photobacterium damselae, BT-6, were closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib(2) operon of Photobacterium leiognathi; and (iv) a strain of the luminous bacterium Photobacterium mandapamensis was found to be merodiploid for the lux genes, and the second set of lux genes was closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib(2

  2. Phylogenetic Analysis of the Incidence of lux Gene Horizontal Transfer in Vibrionaceae▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Urbanczyk, Henryk; Ast, Jennifer C.; Kaeding, Allison J.; Oliver, James D.; Dunlap, Paul V.

    2008-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is thought to occur frequently in bacteria in nature and to play an important role in bacterial evolution, contributing to the formation of new species. To gain insight into the frequency of HGT in Vibrionaceae and its possible impact on speciation, we assessed the incidence of interspecies transfer of the lux genes (luxCDABEG), which encode proteins involved in luminescence, a distinctive phenotype. Three hundred three luminous strains, most of which were recently isolated from nature and which represent 11 Aliivibrio, Photobacterium, and Vibrio species, were screened for incongruence of phylogenies based on a representative housekeeping gene (gyrB or pyrH) and a representative lux gene (luxA). Strains exhibiting incongruence were then subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis of horizontal transfer by using multiple housekeeping genes (gyrB, recA, and pyrH) and multiple lux genes (luxCDABEG). In nearly all cases, housekeeping gene and lux gene phylogenies were congruent, and there was no instance in which the lux genes of one luminous species had replaced the lux genes of another luminous species. Therefore, the lux genes are predominantly vertically inherited in Vibrionaceae. The few exceptions to this pattern of congruence were as follows: (i) the lux genes of the only known luminous strain of Vibrio vulnificus, VVL1 (ATCC 43382), were evolutionarily closely related to the lux genes of Vibrio harveyi; (ii) the lux genes of two luminous strains of Vibrio chagasii, 21N-12 and SB-52, were closely related to those of V. harveyi and Vibrio splendidus, respectively; (iii) the lux genes of a luminous strain of Photobacterium damselae, BT-6, were closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib2 operon of Photobacterium leiognathi; and (iv) a strain of the luminous bacterium Photobacterium mandapamensis was found to be merodiploid for the lux genes, and the second set of lux genes was closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib2

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Bacteriophage WO Can Mediate Horizontal Gene Transfer in Endosymbiotic Wolbachia Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guan H.; Sun, Bao F.; Xiong, Tuan L.; Wang, Yan K.; Murfin, Kristen E.; Xiao, Jin H.; Huang, Da W.

    2016-01-01

    Phage-mediated horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is common in free-living bacteria, and many transferred genes can play a significant role in their new bacterial hosts. However, there are few reports concerning phage-mediated HGT in endosymbionts (obligate intracellular bacteria within animal or plant hosts), such as Wolbachia. The Wolbachia-infecting temperate phage WO can actively shift among Wolbachia genomes and has the potential to mediate HGT between Wolbachia strains. In the present study, we extend previous findings by validating that the phage WO can mediate transfer of non-phage genes. To do so, we utilized bioinformatic, phylogenetic, and molecular analyses based on all sequenced Wolbachia and phage WO genomes. Our results show that the phage WO can mediate HGT between Wolbachia strains, regardless of whether the transferred genes originate from Wolbachia or other unrelated bacteria. PMID:27965627

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  12. 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

  13. Horizontal Transfer and Death of a Fungal Secondary Metabolic Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Matthew A.; Rokas, Antonis; Slot, Jason C.

    2012-01-01

    A cluster composed of four structural and two regulatory genes found in several species of the fungal genus Fusarium (class Sordariomycetes) is responsible for the production of the red pigment bikaverin. We discovered that the unrelated fungus Botrytis cinerea (class Leotiomycetes) contains a cluster of five genes that is highly similar in sequence and gene order to the Fusarium bikaverin cluster. Synteny conservation, nucleotide composition, and phylogenetic analyses of the cluster genes indicate that the B. cinerea cluster was acquired via horizontal transfer from a Fusarium donor. Upon or subsequent to the transfer, the B. cinerea gene cluster became inactivated; one of the four structural genes is missing, two others are pseudogenes, and the fourth structural gene shows an accelerated rate of nonsynonymous substitutions along the B. cinerea lineage, consistent with relaxation of selective constraints. Interestingly, the bik4 regulatory gene is still intact and presumably functional, whereas bik5, which is a pathway-specific regulator, also shows a mild but significant acceleration of evolutionary rate along the B. cinerea lineage. This selective preservation of the bik4 regulator suggests that its conservation is due to its likely involvement in other non–bikaverin-related biological processes in B. cinerea. Thus, in addition to novel metabolism, horizontal transfer of wholesale metabolic gene clusters might also be contributing novel regulation. PMID:22294497

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Plasmid transfer by conjugation as a possible route of horizontal gene transfer and recombination in Xylella fastidiosa

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Horizontal gene transfer is an important component of evolution and adaptation of bacterial species. Xylella fastidiosa has the ability to incorporate exogenous DNA into its genome by homologous recombination at relatively high rates. This genetic recombination is believed to play a role in adaptati...

  18. How much does horizontal gene transfer affect the phylogenetic tree of bacteria?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Bin; Boisvert, Philippe; Higgs, Paul

    2004-03-01

    Ribosomal RNA sequences are frequently used in bacterial phylogenetics. We have developed RNA-specific phylogenetic methods that take account of the conserved secondary structure of these sequences. Our method uses Monte Carlo simulations to generate a representative sample of evolutionary trees (analogous to an equilibrium ensemble in physics). It is known that horizontal transfer of genes can occur between bacterial species, although the frequency and implications of this are not fully understood. If horizontal transfer were frequent, there would be no consistent evolutionary tree for bacteria. We compared trees for 16S rRNA, 23S rRNA and tRNA genes from Proteobacteria (a diverse group for which many complete genome sequences are available). The gene trees are consistent with one another in most respects. Minor differences can almost all be attributed to uncertainties and unreliabilities in the phylogenetic method. We therefore conclude that these genes all give a coherent picture of the phylogeny of the organisms, and that horizontal transfer of these genes is too rare to obscure the signal of the organismal tree.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-09

    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.

  20. Lines of evidence for horizontal gene transfer of a phenazine producing operon into multiple bacterial species.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, David A

    2009-02-01

    Phenazines are secondary metabolites with broad-spectrum antibiotic activity against bacteria, fungi, and eukaryotes. In pseudomonad species, a conserved seven-gene phenazine operon (phzABCDEFG) is required for the conversion of chorismic acid to the broad-spectrum antibiotic phenazine-1-carboxylate. Previous analyses of genes involved in phenazine production from nonpseudomonad species uncovered a high degree of sequence similarity to pseudomonad homologues. The analyses undertaken in this study wished to eluciadate the evolutionary history of genes involved in the production of phenazines. Furthermore, I wanted to determine if the phenazine operon has been transferred through horizontal gene transfer. Analyses of GC content, codon usage patterns, frequency of 3:1 dinucleotides, sequence similarities, and phylogenetic reconstructions were undertaken to map the evolutionary history of phenazine genes from multiple bacterial species. Patchy phyletic distribution, high sequence similarities, and phylogenetic evidence infer that pseudomonad, Streptomyces cinnamonensis, Pantoea agglomerans, Burkholderia cepacia, Pectobacterium atrosepticum, Brevibacterium linens, and Mycobacterium abscessus species all contain a phenazine operon which has most likely been transferred among these species through horizontal gene transfer. The acquisition of an antibiotic-associated operon is significant, as it may increase the relative fitness of the recipient species.

  1. 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

  2. The transferome of metabolic genes explored: analysis of the horizontal transfer of enzyme encoding genes in unicellular eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, John W; McConkey, Glenn A; Westhead, David R

    2009-01-01

    Metabolic networks are responsible for many essential cellular processes, and exhibit a high level of evolutionary conservation from bacteria to eukaryotes. If genes encoding metabolic enzymes are horizontally transferred and are advantageous, they are likely to become fixed. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played a key role in prokaryotic evolution and its importance in eukaryotes is increasingly evident. High levels of endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT) accompanied the establishment of plastids and mitochondria, and more recent events have allowed further acquisition of bacterial genes. Here, we present the first comprehensive multi-species analysis of E/HGT of genes encoding metabolic enzymes from bacteria to unicellular eukaryotes. The phylogenetic trees of 2,257 metabolic enzymes were used to make E/HGT assertions in ten groups of unicellular eukaryotes, revealing the sources and metabolic processes of the transferred genes. Analyses revealed a preference for enzymes encoded by genes gained through horizontal and endosymbiotic transfers to be connected in the metabolic network. Enrichment in particular functional classes was particularly revealing: alongside plastid related processes and carbohydrate metabolism, this highlighted a number of pathways in eukaryotic parasites that are rich in enzymes encoded by transferred genes, and potentially key to pathogenicity. The plant parasites Phytophthora were discovered to have a potential pathway for lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis of E/HGT origin not seen before in eukaryotes outside the Plantae. The number of enzymes encoded by genes gained through E/HGT has been established, providing insight into functional gain during the evolution of unicellular eukaryotes. In eukaryotic parasites, genes encoding enzymes that have been gained through horizontal transfer may be attractive drug targets if they are part of processes not present in the host, or are significantly diverged from equivalent host enzymes.

  3. Genomic characterization of the conditionally dispensable chromosome in Alternaria arborescens provides evidence for horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Fungal plant pathogens cause serious agricultural losses worldwide. Alternaria arborescens is a major pathogen of tomato, with its virulence determined by the presence of a conditionally dispensable chromosome (CDC) carrying host-specific toxin genes. Genes encoding these toxins are well-studied, however the genomic content and organization of the CDC is not known. Results To gain a richer understanding of the molecular determinants of virulence and the evolution of pathogenicity, we performed whole genome sequencing of A. arborescens. Here we present the de-novo assembly of the CDC and its predicted gene content. Also presented is hybridization data validating the CDC assembly. Predicted genes were functionally annotated through BLAST. Gene ontology terms were assigned, and conserved domains were identified. Differences in nucleotide usage were found between CDC genes and those on the essential chromosome (EC), including GC3-content, codon usage bias, and repeat region load. Genes carrying PKS and NRPS domains were identified in clusters on the CDC and evidence supporting the origin of the CDC through horizontal transfer from an unrelated fungus was found. Conclusions We provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that the CDC in A. arborescens was acquired through horizontal transfer, likely from an unrelated fungus. We also identified several predicted CDC genes under positive selection that may serve as candidate virulence factors. PMID:22559316

  4. 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.

  5. Multilevel populations and the evolution of antibiotic resistance through horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Andam, Cheryl P; Fournier, Gregory P; Gogarten, Johann Peter

    2011-09-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can create diversity in the genetic repertoire of a lineage. Successful gene transfer likely occurs more frequently between more closely related organisms, leading to the formation of higher-level exchange groups that in some respects are comparable to single-species populations. Genes that appear fixed in a single species can be replaced through distant homologs or iso-functional analogs acquired through HGT. These genes may originate from other species or they may be acquired by an individual strain from the species pan-genome. Because of their similarity to alleles in a population, we label these gene variants that are exchanged between related species as homeoalleles. In a case study, we show that biased gene transfer plays an important role in the evolution of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS). Many microorganisms make use of these genes against naturally occurring antibiotics. We suggest that the resistance against naturally occurring antibiotics is the likely driving force behind the frequent switching between divergent aaRS types and the reason for the maintenance of these homeoalleles in higher-level exchange groups. Resistance to naturally occurring antibiotics may lead to the maintenance of different types of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in Bacteria through gene transfer.

  6. Horizontal Gene Transfer of Phytochelatin Synthases from Bacteria to Extremophilic Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Sanna; Penacho, Vanessa; Puente-Sánchez, Fernando; Díaz, Silvia; Gonzalez-Pastor, José Eduardo; Aguilera, Angeles

    2017-01-01

    Transcriptomic sequencing together with bioinformatic analyses and an automated annotation process led us to identify novel phytochelatin synthase (PCS) genes from two extremophilic green algae (Chlamydomonas acidophila and Dunaliella acidophila). These genes are of intermediate length compared to known PCS genes from eukaryotes and PCS-like genes from prokaryotes. A detailed phylogenetic analysis gives new insight into the complicated evolutionary history of PCS genes and provides evidence for multiple horizontal gene transfer events from bacteria to eukaryotes within the gene family. A separate subgroup containing PCS-like genes within the PCS gene family is not supported since the PCS genes are monophyletic only when the PCS-like genes are included. The presence and functionality of the novel genes in the organisms were verified by genomic sequencing and qRT-PCR. Furthermore, the novel PCS gene in Chlamydomonas acidophila showed very strong induction by cadmium. Cloning and expression of the gene in Escherichia coli clearly improves its cadmium resistance. The gene in Dunaliella was not induced, most likely due to gene duplication.

  7. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. A horizontally transferred nuclear gene is associated with microhabitat variation in a natural plant population

    PubMed Central

    Tunlid, Anders; Ghatnekar, Lena

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer involves the non-sexual interspecific transmission of genetic material. Even if they are initially functional, horizontally transferred genes are expected to deteriorate into non-expressed pseudogenes, unless they become adaptively relevant in the recipient organism. However, little is known about the distributions of natural transgenes within wild species or the adaptive significance of natural transgenes within wild populations. Here, we examine the distribution of a natural plant-to-plant nuclear transgene in relation to environmental variation within a wild population. Festuca ovina is polymorphic for an extra (second) expressed copy of the nuclear gene (PgiC) encoding cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase, with the extra PgiC locus having been acquired horizontally from the distantly related grass genus Poa. We investigated variation at PgiC in samples of F. ovina from a fine-scale, repeating patchwork of grassland microhabitats, replicated within spatially separated sites. Even after accounting for spatial effects, the distributions of F. ovina individuals carrying the additional PgiC locus, and one of the enzyme products encoded by the locus, are significantly associated with fine-scale habitat variation. Our results suggest that the PgiC transgene contributes, together with the unlinked ‘native’ PgiC locus, to local adaptation to a fine-scale mosaic of edaphic and biotic grassland microhabitats. PMID:26674953

  9. A horizontally transferred nuclear gene is associated with microhabitat variation in a natural plant population.

    PubMed

    Prentice, Honor C; Li, Yuan; Lönn, Mikael; Tunlid, Anders; Ghatnekar, Lena

    2015-12-22

    Horizontal gene transfer involves the non-sexual interspecific transmission of genetic material. Even if they are initially functional, horizontally transferred genes are expected to deteriorate into non-expressed pseudogenes, unless they become adaptively relevant in the recipient organism. However, little is known about the distributions of natural transgenes within wild species or the adaptive significance of natural transgenes within wild populations. Here, we examine the distribution of a natural plant-to-plant nuclear transgene in relation to environmental variation within a wild population. Festuca ovina is polymorphic for an extra (second) expressed copy of the nuclear gene (PgiC) encoding cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase, with the extra PgiC locus having been acquired horizontally from the distantly related grass genus Poa. We investigated variation at PgiC in samples of F. ovina from a fine-scale, repeating patchwork of grassland microhabitats, replicated within spatially separated sites. Even after accounting for spatial effects, the distributions of F. ovina individuals carrying the additional PgiC locus, and one of the enzyme products encoded by the locus, are significantly associated with fine-scale habitat variation. Our results suggest that the PgiC transgene contributes, together with the unlinked 'native' PgiC locus, to local adaptation to a fine-scale mosaic of edaphic and biotic grassland microhabitats.

  10. 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.

  11. Horizontal transfer of a large and highly toxic secondary metabolic gene cluster between fungi.

    PubMed

    Slot, Jason C; Rokas, Antonis

    2011-01-25

    Genes involved in intermediary and secondary metabolism in fungi are frequently physically linked or clustered. For example, in Aspergillus nidulans the entire pathway for the production of sterigmatocystin (ST), a highly toxic secondary metabolite and a precursor to the aflatoxins (AF), is located in a ∼54 kb, 23 gene cluster. We discovered that a complete ST gene cluster in Podospora anserina was horizontally transferred from Aspergillus. Phylogenetic analysis shows that most Podospora cluster genes are adjacent to or nested within Aspergillus cluster genes, although the two genera belong to different taxonomic classes. Furthermore, the Podospora cluster is highly conserved in content, sequence, and microsynteny with the Aspergillus ST/AF clusters and its intergenic regions contain 14 putative binding sites for AflR, the transcription factor required for activation of the ST/AF biosynthetic genes. Examination of ∼52,000 Podospora expressed sequence tags identified transcripts for 14 genes in the cluster, with several expressed at multiple life cycle stages. The presence of putative AflR-binding sites and the expression evidence for several cluster genes, coupled with the recent independent discovery of ST production in Podospora [1], suggest that this HGT event probably resulted in a functional cluster. Given the abundance of metabolic gene clusters in fungi, our finding that one of the largest known metabolic gene clusters moved intact between species suggests that such transfers might have significantly contributed to fungal metabolic diversity. PAPERFLICK:

  12. Gene Loss and Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributed to the Genome Evolution of the Extreme Acidophile "Ferrovum".

    PubMed

    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 contributed to the observed

  13. Systematic Search for Evidence of Interdomain Horizontal Gene Transfer from Prokaryotes to Oomycete Lineages

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Charley G. P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT While most commonly associated with prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can also have a significant influence on the evolution of microscopic eukaryotes. Systematic analysis of HGT in the genomes of the oomycetes, filamentous eukaryotic microorganisms in the Stramenopiles-Alveolates-Rhizaria (SAR) supergroup, has to date focused mainly on intradomain transfer events between oomycetes and fungi. Using systematic whole-genome analysis followed by phylogenetic reconstruction, we have investigated the extent of interdomain HGT between bacteria and plant-pathogenic oomycetes. We report five putative instances of HGT from bacteria into the oomycetes. Two transfers were found in Phytophthora species, including one unique to the cucurbit pathogen Phytophthora capsici. Two were found in Pythium species only, and the final transfer event was present in Phytopythium and Pythium species, the first reported bacterium-inherited genes in these genera. Our putative transfers included one protein that appears to be a member of the Pythium secretome, metabolic proteins, and enzymes that could potentially break down xenobiotics within the cell. Our findings complement both previous reports of bacterial genes in oomycete and SAR genomes and the growing body of evidence suggesting that interdomain transfer from prokaryotes into eukaryotes occurs more frequently than previously thought. IMPORTANCE Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the nonvertical inheritance of genetic material by transfer between different species. HGT is an important evolutionary mechanism for prokaryotes and in some cases is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance from resistant to benign species. Genome analysis has shown that examples of HGT are not as frequent in eukaryotes, but when they do occur they may have important evolutionary consequences. For example, the acquisition of fungal genes by an ancestral Phytophthora (plant destroyer) species is responsible for the large repertoire

  14. Type IV secretion systems: tools of bacterial horizontal gene transfer and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Juhas, Mario; Crook, Derrick W; Hood, Derek W

    2008-01-01

    Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are multisubunit cell-envelope-spanning structures, ancestrally related to bacterial conjugation machines, which transfer proteins and nucleoprotein complexes across membranes. T4SSs mediate horizontal gene transfer, thus contributing to genome plasticity and the evolution of pathogens through dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes. Moreover, T4SSs are also used for the delivery of bacterial effector proteins across the bacterial membrane and the plasmatic membrane of eukaryotic host cell, thus contributing directly to pathogenicity. T4SSs are usually encoded by multiple genes organized into a single functional unit. Based on a number of features, the organization of genetic determinants, shared homologies and evolutionary relationships, T4SSs have been divided into several groups. Type F and P (type IVA) T4SSs resembling the archetypal VirB/VirD4 system of Agrobacterium tumefaciens are considered to be the paradigm of type IV secretion, while type I (type IVB) T4SSs are found in intracellular bacterial pathogens, Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii. Several novel T4SSs have been identified recently and their functions await investigation. The most recently described GI type T4SSs play a key role in the horizontal transfer of a wide variety of genomic islands derived from a broad spectrum of bacterial strains. PMID:18549454

  15. Plant nodulation inducers enhance horizontal gene transfer of Azorhizobium caulinodans symbiosis island.

    PubMed

    Ling, Jun; Wang, Hui; Wu, Ping; Li, Tao; Tang, Yu; Naseer, Nawar; Zheng, Huiming; Masson-Boivin, Catherine; Zhong, Zengtao; Zhu, Jun

    2016-11-29

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of genomic islands is a driving force of bacterial evolution. Many pathogens and symbionts use this mechanism to spread mobile genetic elements that carry genes important for interaction with their eukaryotic hosts. However, the role of the host in this process remains unclear. Here, we show that plant compounds inducing the nodulation process in the rhizobium-legume mutualistic symbiosis also enhance the transfer of symbiosis islands. We demonstrate that the symbiosis island of the Sesbania rostrata symbiont, Azorhizobium caulinodans, is an 87.6-kb integrative and conjugative element (ICE(Ac)) that is able to excise, form a circular DNA, and conjugatively transfer to a specific site of gly-tRNA gene of other rhizobial genera, expanding their host range. The HGT frequency was significantly increased in the rhizosphere. An ICE(Ac)-located LysR-family transcriptional regulatory protein AhaR triggered the HGT process in response to plant flavonoids that induce the expression of nodulation genes through another LysR-type protein, NodD. Our study suggests that rhizobia may sense rhizosphere environments and transfer their symbiosis gene contents to other genera of rhizobia, thereby broadening rhizobial host-range specificity.

  16. Widespread Horizontal Gene Transfer from Circular Single-stranded DNA Viruses to Eukaryotic Genomes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In addition to vertical transmission, organisms can also acquire genes from other distantly related species or from their extra-chromosomal elements (plasmids and viruses) via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). It has been suggested that phages represent substantial forces in prokaryotic evolution. In eukaryotes, retroviruses, which can integrate into host genome as an obligate step in their replication strategy, comprise approximately 8% of the human genome. Unlike retroviruses, few members of other virus families are known to transfer genes to host genomes. Results Here we performed a systematic search for sequences related to circular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses in publicly available eukaryotic genome databases followed by comprehensive phylogenetic analysis. We conclude that the replication initiation protein (Rep)-related sequences of geminiviruses, nanoviruses and circoviruses have been frequently transferred to a broad range of eukaryotic species, including plants, fungi, animals and protists. Some of the transferred viral genes were conserved and expressed, suggesting that these genes have been coopted to assume cellular functions in the host genomes. We also identified geminivirus-like and parvovirus-like transposable elements in genomes of fungi and lower animals, respectively, and thereby provide direct evidence that eukaryotic transposons could derive from ssDNA viruses. Conclusions Our discovery extends the host range of circular ssDNA viruses and sheds light on the origin and evolution of these viruses. It also suggests that ssDNA viruses act as an unforeseen source of genetic innovation in their hosts. PMID:21943216

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Universally distributed single-copy genes indicate a constant rate of horizontal transfer.

    PubMed

    Creevey, Christopher J; Doerks, Tobias; Fitzpatrick, David A; Raes, Jeroen; Bork, Peer

    2011-01-01

    Single copy genes, universally distributed across the three domains of life and encoding mostly ancient parts of the translation machinery, are thought to be only rarely subjected to horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Indeed it has been proposed to have occurred in only a few genes and implies a rare, probably not advantageous event in which an ortholog displaces the original gene and has to function in a foreign context (orthologous gene displacement, OGD). Here, we have utilised an automatic method to identify HGT based on a conservative statistical approach capable of robustly assigning both donors and acceptors. Applied to 40 universally single copy genes we found that as many as 68 HGTs (implying OGDs) have occurred in these genes with a rate of 1.7 per family since the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). We examined a number of factors that have been claimed to be fundamental to HGT in general and tested their validity in the subset of universally distributed single copy genes. We found that differing functional constraints impact rates of OGD and the more evolutionarily distant the donor and acceptor, the less likely an OGD is to occur. Furthermore, species with larger genomes are more likely to be subjected to OGD. Most importantly, regardless of the trends above, the number of OGDs increases linearly with time, indicating a neutral, constant rate. This suggests that levels of HGT above this rate may be indicative of positively selected transfers that may allow niche adaptation or bestow other benefits to the recipient organism.

  20. 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.

  1. Horizontal gene transfer to endogenous endophytic bacteria from poplar improves phytoremediation of toluene.

    PubMed

    Taghavi, Safiyh; Barac, Tanja; Greenberg, Bill; Borremans, Brigitte; Vangronsveld, Jaco; van der Lelie, Daniel

    2005-12-01

    Poplar, a plant species frequently used for phytoremediation of groundwater contaminated with organic solvents, was inoculated with the endophyte Burkholderia cepacia VM1468. This strain, whose natural host is yellow lupine, contains the pTOM-Bu61 plasmid coding for constitutively expressed toluene degradation. Noninoculated plants or plants inoculated with the soil bacterium B. cepacia Bu61(pTOM-Bu61) were used as controls. Inoculation of poplar had a positive effect on plant growth in the presence of toluene and reduced the amount of toluene released via evapotranspiration. These effects were more dramatic for VM1468, the endophytic strain, than for Bu61. Remarkably, none of the strains became established at detectable levels in the endophytic community, but there was horizontal gene transfer of pTOM-Bu61 to different members of the endogenous endophytic community, both in the presence and in the absence of toluene. This work is the first report of in planta horizontal gene transfer among plant-associated endophytic bacteria and demonstrates that such transfer could be used to change natural endophytic microbial communities in order to improve the remediation of environmental insults.

  2. Bacterial Transport and Fate and Its Effect on Horizontal Gene Transfer in Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lv, N.; Massoudieh, A.; Nguyen, T. H.; Kamai, T.; Zilles, J. L.; Ginn, T. R.; Liang, X.

    2013-12-01

    Biogeochemical cycling in ecosystems relies heavily on soil bacterial communities. Bacterial communities adapt to natural or anthropogenic disruptions through mutation and horizontal gene transfer. Horizontal gene transfer alters bacterial communities rapidly by transferring DNA across species. A systematic understanding of bacterial transport and fate and its effects on horizontal gene transfer is critical for predicting and harnessing bacterial adaption and evolution in soil. In this work, a multi-scale approach was applied to study the effects of both flagella and motility on transport and fate of the soil bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii in porous media. Both micromodel and column experiments showed decreasing deposition over time, suggesting that both flagellated and non-flagellated cells were blocked from deposition by previously deposited cells. In later stages, ripening effects were also observed, and they appeared earlier for the non-flagellated strain. Based on the overall clean collector removal efficiencies determined from micromodel and column experiments, the non-motile and non-flagellated strain DJNM deposited the most, while the motile, wild-type strain DJ showed the least deposition. The overall clean collector removal efficiencies was due to decreased deposition of motile cells on the front sides of the collectors (relative to the flow direction). The horizontal gene transfer of extracellular DNA, known as natural transformation, was evaluated with both dissolved and adsorbed extracellular DNA and with motile and non-motile but flagellated strains (DJ and DJ77, respectively). The distinct transport mechanisms of these strains resulted in different natural transformation rates and relationships to the concentration of cells and dissolved extracellular DNA. A modified mass action type relationship with power relationships was established to model the differences in natural transformation between DJ and DJ77. A cell-DNA pairing hypothesis was

  3. The impact of horizontal gene transfer on the biology of Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Adam P; Allan, Elaine; Mullany, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is now recognised as the main cause of healthcare associated diarrhoea. Over the recent years there has been a change in the epidemiology of CDI with certain related strains dominating infection. These strains have been termed hyper-virulent and have successfully spread across the globe. Many C. difficile strains have had their genomes completely sequenced allowing researchers to build up a very detailed picture of the contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the adaptive potential, through the acquisition of mobile DNA, of this organism. Here, we review and discuss the contribution of mobile genetic elements to the biology of this clinically important pathogen.

  4. Horizontal gene transfer facilitated the evolution of plant parasitic mechanisms in the oomycetes.

    PubMed

    Richards, Thomas A; Soanes, Darren M; Jones, Meredith D M; Vasieva, Olga; Leonard, Guy; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Foster, Peter G; Hall, Neil; Talbot, Nicholas J

    2011-09-13

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can radically alter the genomes of microorganisms, providing the capacity to adapt to new lifestyles, environments, and hosts. However, the extent of HGT between eukaryotes is unclear. Using whole-genome, gene-by-gene phylogenetic analysis we demonstrate an extensive pattern of cross-kingdom HGT between fungi and oomycetes. Comparative genomics, including the de novo genome sequence of Hyphochytrium catenoides, a free-living sister of the oomycetes, shows that these transfers largely converge within the radiation of oomycetes that colonize plant tissues. The repertoire of HGTs includes a large number of putatively secreted proteins; for example, 7.6% of the secreted proteome of the sudden oak death parasite Phytophthora ramorum has been acquired from fungi by HGT. Transfers include gene products with the capacity to break down plant cell walls and acquire sugars, nucleic acids, nitrogen, and phosphate sources from the environment. Predicted HGTs also include proteins implicated in resisting plant defense mechanisms and effector proteins for attacking plant cells. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that some oomycetes became successful plant parasites by multiple acquisitions of genes from fungi.

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

    PubMed

    Arkhipova, Oksana V; Meer, Margarita V; Mikoulinskaia, Galina V; Zakharova, Marina V; Galushko, Alexander S; Akimenko, Vasilii K; 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.

  6. The case of horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to the peculiar dinoflagellate plastid genome

    PubMed Central

    Mackiewicz, Paweł; Bodył, Andrzej; Moszczyński, Krzysztof

    2013-01-01

    Organelle genomes lose their genes by transfer to host nuclear genomes, but only occasionally are enriched by foreign genes from other sources. In contrast to mitochondria, plastid genomes are especially resistant to such horizontal gene transfer (HGT), and thus every gene acquired in this way is notable. An exceptional case of HGT was recently recognized in the peculiar peridinin plastid genome of dinoflagellates, which is organized in plasmid-like minicircles. Genomic and phylogenetic analyses of Ceratium horridum and Pyrocystis lunula minicircles revealed four genes and one unannotated open reading frame that probably were gained from bacteria belonging to the Bacteroidetes. Such bacteria seem to be a good source of genes because close endosymbiotic associations between them and dinoflagellates have been observed. The HGT-acquired genes are involved in plastid functions characteristic of other photosynthetic eukaryotes, and their arrangement resembles bacterial operons. These studies indicate that the peridinin plastid genome, usually regarded as having resulted from reduction and fragmentation of a typical plastid genome derived from red algae, may have a chimeric origin that includes bacterial contributions. Potential contamination of the Ceratium and Pyrocystis plastid genomes by bacterial sequences and the controversial localization of their minicircles in the nucleus are also discussed. PMID:24195014

  7. The case of horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to the peculiar dinoflagellate plastid genome.

    PubMed

    Mackiewicz, Paweł; Bodył, Andrzej; Moszczyński, Krzysztof

    2013-07-01

    Organelle genomes lose their genes by transfer to host nuclear genomes, but only occasionally are enriched by foreign genes from other sources. In contrast to mitochondria, plastid genomes are especially resistant to such horizontal gene transfer (HGT), and thus every gene acquired in this way is notable. An exceptional case of HGT was recently recognized in the peculiar peridinin plastid genome of dinoflagellates, which is organized in plasmid-like minicircles. Genomic and phylogenetic analyses of Ceratium horridum and Pyrocystis lunula minicircles revealed four genes and one unannotated open reading frame that probably were gained from bacteria belonging to the Bacteroidetes. Such bacteria seem to be a good source of genes because close endosymbiotic associations between them and dinoflagellates have been observed. The HGT-acquired genes are involved in plastid functions characteristic of other photosynthetic eukaryotes, and their arrangement resembles bacterial operons. These studies indicate that the peridinin plastid genome, usually regarded as having resulted from reduction and fragmentation of a typical plastid genome derived from red algae, may have a chimeric origin that includes bacterial contributions. Potential contamination of the Ceratium and Pyrocystis plastid genomes by bacterial sequences and the controversial localization of their minicircles in the nucleus are also discussed.

  8. Possible Role of Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Colonization of Sea Ice by Algae

    PubMed Central

    Raymond, James A.; Kim, Hak Jun

    2012-01-01

    Diatoms and other algae not only survive, but thrive in sea ice. Among sea ice diatoms, all species examined so far produce ice-binding proteins (IBPs), whereas no such proteins are found in non-ice-associated diatoms, which strongly suggests that IBPs are essential for survival in ice. The restricted occurrence also raises the question of how the IBP genes were acquired. Proteins with similar sequences and ice-binding activities are produced by ice-associated bacteria, and so it has previously been speculated that the genes were acquired by horizontal transfer (HGT) from bacteria. Here we report several new IBP sequences from three types of ice algae, which together with previously determined sequences reveal a phylogeny that is completely incongruent with algal phylogeny, and that can be most easily explained by HGT. HGT is also supported by the finding that the closest matches to the algal IBP genes are all bacterial genes and that the algal IBP genes lack introns. We also describe a highly freeze-tolerant bacterium from the bottom layer of Antarctic sea ice that produces an IBP with 47% amino acid identity to a diatom IBP from the same layer, demonstrating at least an opportunity for gene transfer. Together, these results suggest that the success of diatoms and other algae in sea ice can be at least partly attributed to their acquisition of prokaryotic IBP genes. PMID:22567121

  9. A horizontal gene transfer supported the evolution of an early metazoan biomineralization strategy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The synchronous and widespread adoption of the ability to biomineralize was a defining event for metazoan evolution during the late Precambrian/early Cambrian 545 million years ago. However our understanding on the molecular level of how animals first evolved this capacity is poor. Because sponges are the earliest branching phylum of biomineralizing metazoans, we have been studying how biocalcification occurs in the coralline demosponge Astrosclera willeyana. Results We have isolated and characterized a novel protein directly from the calcified spherulites of A. willeyana. Using three independent lines of evidence (genomic architecture of the gene in A. willeyana, spatial expression of the gene product in A. willeyana and genomic architecture of the gene in the related demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica), we show that the gene that encodes this protein was horizontally acquired from a bacterium, and is now highly and exclusively expressed in spherulite forming cells. Conclusions Our findings highlight the ancient and close association that exists between sponges and bacteria, and provide support for the notion that horizontal gene transfer may have been an important mechanism that supported the evolution of this early metazoan biomineralisation strategy. PMID:21838889

  10. The Perchlorate Reduction Genomic Island: Mechanisms and Pathways of Evolution by Horizontal Gene Transfer.

    PubMed

    Melnyk, Ryan A; Coates, John D

    2015-10-26

    Perchlorate is a widely distributed anion that is toxic to humans, but serves as a valuable electron acceptor for several lineages of bacteria. The ability to utilize perchlorate is conferred by a horizontally transferred piece of DNA called the perchlorate reduction genomic island (PRI). We compared genomes of perchlorate reducers using phylogenomics, SNP mapping, and differences in genomic architecture to interrogate the evolutionary history of perchlorate respiration. Here we report on the PRI of 13 genomes of perchlorate-reducing bacteria from four different classes of Phylum Proteobacteria (the Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria). Among the different phylogenetic classes, the island varies considerably in genetic content as well as in its putative mechanism and location of integration. However, the islands of the densely sampled genera Azospira and Magnetospirillum have striking nucleotide identity despite divergent genomes, implying horizontal transfer and positive selection within narrow phylogenetic taxa. We also assess the phylogenetic origin of accessory genes in the various incarnations of the island, which can be traced to chromosomal paralogs from phylogenetically similar organisms. These observations suggest a complex phylogenetic history where the island is rarely transferred at the class level but undergoes frequent and continuous transfer within narrow phylogenetic groups. This restricted transfer is seen directly by the independent integration of near-identical islands within a genus and indirectly due to the acquisition of lineage-specific accessory genes. The genomic reversibility of perchlorate reduction may present a unique equilibrium for a metabolism that confers a competitive advantage only in the presence of an electron acceptor, which although widely distributed, is generally present at low concentrations in nature.

  11. 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; Nishimura, Erin Osborne; 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.

  12. 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

  13. Evidence for Horizontal Gene Transfer in Evolution of Elongation Factor Tu in Enterococci

    PubMed Central

    Ke, Danbing; Boissinot, Maurice; Huletsky, Ann; Picard, François J.; Frenette, Johanne; Ouellette, Marc; Roy, Paul H.; Bergeron, Michel G.

    2000-01-01

    or a streptococcus-related species may have horizontally transferred a tuf gene to the common ancestor of the 11 enterococcal species which now carry two tuf genes. PMID:11092850

  14. 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

  15. Horizontal Gene Transfer of the Secretome Drives the Evolution of Bacterial Cooperation and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Teresa; Rankin, Daniel J.; Touchon, Marie; Taddei, François; Brown, Sam P.; Rocha, Eduardo P.C.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Background Microbes engage in a remarkable array of cooperative behaviors, secreting shared proteins that are essential for foraging, shelter, microbial warfare, and virulence. These proteins are costly, rendering populations of cooperators vulnerable to exploitation by nonproducing cheaters arising by gene loss or migration. In such conditions, how can cooperation persist? Results Our model predicts that differential gene mobility drives intragenomic variation in investment in cooperative traits. More mobile loci generate stronger among-individual genetic correlations at these loci (higher relatedness) and thereby allow the maintenance of more cooperative traits via kin selection. By analyzing 21 Escherichia genomes, we confirm that genes coding for secreted proteins—the secretome—are very frequently lost and gained and are associated with mobile elements. We show that homologs of the secretome are overrepresented among human gut metagenomics samples, consistent with increased relatedness at secretome loci across multiple species. The biosynthetic cost of secreted proteins is shown to be under intense selective pressure, even more than for highly expressed proteins, consistent with a cost of cooperation driving social dilemmas. Finally, we demonstrate that mobile elements are in conflict with their chromosomal hosts over the chimeric ensemble's social strategy, with mobile elements enforcing cooperation on their otherwise selfish hosts via the cotransfer of secretome genes with “mafia strategy” addictive systems (toxin-antitoxin and restriction-modification). Conclusion Our analysis matches the predictions of our model suggesting that horizontal transfer promotes cooperation, as transmission increases local genetic relatedness at mobile loci and enforces cooperation on the resident genes. As a consequence, horizontal transfer promoted by agents such as plasmids, phages, or integrons drives microbial cooperation. PMID:19800234

  16. Horizontal gene transfer of the secretome drives the evolution of bacterial cooperation and virulence.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Teresa; Rankin, Daniel J; Touchon, Marie; Taddei, François; Brown, Sam P; Rocha, Eduardo P C

    2009-11-03

    Microbes engage in a remarkable array of cooperative behaviors, secreting shared proteins that are essential for foraging, shelter, microbial warfare, and virulence. These proteins are costly, rendering populations of cooperators vulnerable to exploitation by nonproducing cheaters arising by gene loss or migration. In such conditions, how can cooperation persist? Our model predicts that differential gene mobility drives intragenomic variation in investment in cooperative traits. More mobile loci generate stronger among-individual genetic correlations at these loci (higher relatedness) and thereby allow the maintenance of more cooperative traits via kin selection. By analyzing 21 Escherichia genomes, we confirm that genes coding for secreted proteins-the secretome-are very frequently lost and gained and are associated with mobile elements. We show that homologs of the secretome are overrepresented among human gut metagenomics samples, consistent with increased relatedness at secretome loci across multiple species. The biosynthetic cost of secreted proteins is shown to be under intense selective pressure, even more than for highly expressed proteins, consistent with a cost of cooperation driving social dilemmas. Finally, we demonstrate that mobile elements are in conflict with their chromosomal hosts over the chimeric ensemble's social strategy, with mobile elements enforcing cooperation on their otherwise selfish hosts via the cotransfer of secretome genes with "mafia strategy" addictive systems (toxin-antitoxin and restriction-modification). Our analysis matches the predictions of our model suggesting that horizontal transfer promotes cooperation, as transmission increases local genetic relatedness at mobile loci and enforces cooperation on the resident genes. As a consequence, horizontal transfer promoted by agents such as plasmids, phages, or integrons drives microbial cooperation.

  17. Horizontal gene transfer of a plastid gene in the non-photosynthetic flowering plants Orobanche and Phelipanche (Orobanchaceae).

    PubMed

    Park, Jeong-Mi; Manen, Jean-François; Schneeweiss, Gerald M

    2007-06-01

    Plastid sequences are among the most widely used in phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies in flowering plants, where they are usually assumed to evolve like non-recombining, uniparentally transmitted, single-copy genes. Among others, this assumption can be violated by intracellular gene transfer (IGT) within cells or by the exchange of genes across mating barriers (horizontal gene transfer, HGT). We report on HGT of a plastid region including rps2, trnL-F, and rbcL in a group of non-photosynthetic flowering plants. Species of the parasitic broomrape genus Phelipanche harbor two copies of rps2, a plastid ribosomal gene, one corresponding to the phylogenetic position of the respective species, the other being horizontally acquired from the related broomrape genus Orobanche. While the vertically transmitted copies probably reside within the plastid genome, the localization of the horizontally acquired copies is not known. With both donor and recipient being parasitic plants, a possible pathway for the exchange of genetic material is via a commonly attacked host.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Mitochondrial DNA of Vitis vinifera and the issue of rampant horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Goremykin, Vadim V; Salamini, Francesco; Velasco, Riccardo; Viola, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The mitochondrial genome of grape (Vitis vinifera), the largest organelle genome sequenced so far, is presented. The genome is 773,279 nt long and has the highest coding capacity among known angiosperm mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs). The proportion of promiscuous DNA of plastid origin in the genome is also the largest ever reported for an angiosperm mtDNA, both in absolute and relative terms. In all, 42.4% of chloroplast genome of Vitis has been incorporated into its mitochondrial genome. In order to test if horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has also contributed to the gene content of the grape mtDNA, we built phylogenetic trees with the coding sequences of mitochondrial genes of grape and their homologs from plant mitochondrial genomes. Many incongruent gene tree topologies were obtained. However, the extent of incongruence between these gene trees is not significantly greater than that observed among optimal trees for chloroplast genes, the common ancestry of which has never been in doubt. In both cases, we attribute this incongruence to artifacts of tree reconstruction, insufficient numbers of characters, and gene paralogy. This finding leads us to question the recent phylogenetic interpretation of Bergthorsson et al. (2003, 2004) and Richardson and Palmer (2007) that rampant HGT into the mtDNA of Amborella best explains phylogenetic incongruence between mitochondrial gene trees for angiosperms. The only evidence for HGT into the Vitis mtDNA found involves fragments of two coding sequences stemming from two closteroviruses that cause the leaf roll disease of this plant. We also report that analysis of sequences shared by both chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes provides evidence for a previously unknown gene transfer route from the mitochondrion to the chloroplast.

  1. Horizontal gene transfer and redundancy of tryptophan biosynthetic enzymes in dinotoms.

    PubMed

    Imanian, Behzad; Keeling, Patrick J

    2014-02-01

    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.

  2. Horizontal gene transfer from extinct and extant lineages: biological innovation and the coral of life

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Gregory P.; Huang, Jinling; Gogarten, J. Peter

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is often considered to be a source of error in phylogenetic reconstruction, causing individual gene trees within an organismal lineage to be incongruent, obfuscating the ‘true’ evolutionary history. However, when identified as such, HGTs between divergent organismal lineages are useful, phylogenetically informative characters that can provide insight into evolutionary history. Here, we discuss several distinct HGT events involving all three domains of life, illustrating the selective advantages that can be conveyed via HGT, and the utility of HGT in aiding phylogenetic reconstruction and in dating the relative sequence of speciation events. We also discuss the role of HGT from extinct lineages, and its impact on our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth. Organismal phylogeny needs to incorporate reticulations; a simple tree does not provide an accurate depiction of the processes that have shaped life's history. PMID:19571243

  3. CRISPR Interference Limits Horizontal Gene Transfer in Staphylococci by Targeting DNA

    PubMed Central

    Marraffini, Luciano A.; Sontheimer, Erik J.

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacteria and archaea occurs through phage transduction, transformation, or conjugation, and the latter is particularly important for the spread of antibiotic resistance. Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci confer sequence-directed immunity against phages. A clinical isolate of Staphylococcus epidermidis harbors a CRISPR spacer that matches the nickase gene present in nearly all staphylococcal conjugative plasmids. Here we show that CRISPR interference prevents conjugation and plasmid transformation in S. epidermidis. Insertion of a self-splicing intron into nickase blocks interference despite the reconstitution of the target sequence in the spliced mRNA, indicating that the interference machinery targets DNA directly. We conclude that CRISPR loci counteract multiple routes of HGT and can limit the spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria. PMID:19095942

  4. 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.

  5. Horizontal transfer of β-carbonic anhydrase genes from prokaryotes to protozoans, insects, and nematodes.

    PubMed

    Zolfaghari Emameh, Reza; Barker, Harlan R; Tolvanen, Martti E E; Parkkila, Seppo; Hytönen, Vesa P

    2016-03-16

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a movement of genetic information occurring outside of normal mating activities. It is especially common between prokaryotic endosymbionts and their protozoan, insect, and nematode hosts. Although beta carbonic anhydrase (β-CA) plays a crucial role in metabolic functions of many living organisms, the origin of β-CA genes in eukaryotic species remains unclear. This study was conducted using phylogenetics, prediction of subcellular localization, and identification of β-CA, transposase, integrase, and resolvase genes on the MGEs of bacteria. We also structurally analyzed β-CAs from protozoans, insects, and nematodes and their putative prokaryotic common ancestors, by homology modelling. Our investigations of a number of target genomes revealed that genes coding for transposase, integrase, resolvase, and conjugation complex proteins have been integrated with β-CA gene sequences on mobile genetic elements (MGEs) which have facilitated the mobility of β-CA genes from bacteria to protozoan, insect, and nematode species. The prokaryotic origin of protozoan, insect, and nematode β-CA enzymes is supported by phylogenetic analyses, prediction of subcellular localization, and homology modelling. MGEs form a complete set of enzymatic tools, which are relevant to HGT of β-CA gene sequences from prokaryotes to protozoans, insects, and nematodes.

  6. Integrating horizontal gene transfer and common descent to depict evolution and contrast it with "common design".

    PubMed

    Paz-Y-Miño C, Guillermo; Espinosa, Avelina

    2010-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and common descent interact in space and time. Because events of HGT co-occur with phylogenetic evolution, it is difficult to depict evolutionary patterns graphically. Tree-like representations of life's diversification are useful, but they ignore the significance of HGT in evolutionary history, particularly of unicellular organisms, ancestors of multicellular life. Here we integrate the reticulated-tree model, ring of life, symbiogenesis whole-organism model, and eliminative pattern pluralism to represent evolution. Using Entamoeba histolytica alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (EhADH2), a bifunctional enzyme in the glycolytic pathway of amoeba, we illustrate how EhADH2 could be the product of both horizontally acquired features from ancestral prokaryotes (i.e. aldehyde dehydrogenase [ALDH] and alcohol dehydrogenase [ADH]), and subsequent functional integration of these enzymes into EhADH2, which is now inherited by amoeba via common descent. Natural selection has driven the evolution of EhADH2 active sites, which require specific amino acids (cysteine 252 in the ALDH domain; histidine 754 in the ADH domain), iron- and NAD(+) as cofactors, and the substrates acetyl-CoA for ALDH and acetaldehyde for ADH. Alternative views invoking "common design" (i.e. the non-naturalistic emergence of major taxa independent from ancestry) to explain the interaction between horizontal and vertical evolution are unfounded.

  7. Horizontal gene transfer of acetyltransferases, invertases and chorismate mutases from different bacteria to diverse recipients.

    PubMed

    Noon, Jason B; Baum, Thomas J

    2016-04-12

    Hoplolaimina plant-parasitic nematodes (PPN) are a lineage of animals with many documented cases of horizontal gene transfer (HGT). In a recent study, we reported on three likely HGT candidate genes in the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines, all of which encode secreted candidate effectors with putative functions in the host plant. Hg-GLAND1 is a putative GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase (GNAT), Hg-GLAND13 is a putative invertase (INV), and Hg-GLAND16 is a putative chorismate mutase (CM), and blastp searches of the non-redundant database resulted in highest similarity to bacterial sequences. Here, we searched nematode and non-nematode sequence databases to identify all the nematodes possible that contain these three genes, and to formulate hypotheses about when they most likely appeared in the phylum Nematoda. We then performed phylogenetic analyses combined with model selection tests of alternative models of sequence evolution to determine whether these genes were horizontally acquired from bacteria. Mining of nematode sequence databases determined that GNATs appeared in Hoplolaimina PPN late in evolution, while both INVs and CMs appeared before the radiation of the Hoplolaimina suborder. Also, Hoplolaimina GNATs, INVs and CMs formed well-supported clusters with different rhizosphere bacteria in the phylogenetic trees, and the model selection tests greatly supported models of HGT over descent via common ancestry. Surprisingly, the phylogenetic trees also revealed additional, well-supported clusters of bacterial GNATs, INVs and CMs with diverse eukaryotes and archaea. There were at least eleven and eight well-supported clusters of GNATs and INVs, respectively, from different bacteria with diverse eukaryotes and archaea. Though less frequent, CMs from different bacteria formed supported clusters with multiple different eukaryotes. Moreover, almost all individual clusters containing bacteria and eukaryotes or archaea contained species that inhabit very similar

  8. The advantages and disadvantages of horizontal gene transfer and the emergence of the first species

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) is beneficial to a cell if the acquired gene confers a useful function, but is detrimental if the gene has no function, if it is incompatible with existing genes, or if it is a selfishly replicating mobile element. If the balance of these effects is beneficial on average, we would expect cells to evolve high rates of acceptance of horizontally transferred genes, whereas if it is detrimental, cells should reduce the rate of HGT as far as possible. It has been proposed that the rate of HGT was very high in the early stages of prokaryotic evolution, and hence there were no separate lineages of organisms. Only when the HGT rate began to fall, would lineages begin to emerge with their own distinct sets of genes. Evolution would then become more tree-like. This phenomenon has been called the Darwinian Threshold. Results We study a model for genome evolution that incorporates both beneficial and detrimental effects of HGT. We show that if rate of gene loss during genome replication is high, as was probably the case in the earliest genomes before the time of the last universal common ancestor, then a high rate of HGT is favourable. HGT leads to the rapid spread of new genes and allows the build-up of larger, fitter genomes than could be achieved by purely vertical inheritance. In contrast, if the gene loss rate is lower, as in modern prokaryotes, then HGT is, on average, unfavourable. Conclusions Modern cells should therefore evolve to reduce HGT if they can, although the prevalence of independently replicating mobile elements and viruses may mean that cells cannot avoid HGT in practice. In the model, natural selection leads to gradual improvement of the replication accuracy and gradual decrease in the optimal rate of HGT. By clustering genomes based on gene content, we show that there are no separate lineages of organisms when the rate of HGT is high; however, as the rate of HGT decreases, a tree-like structure emerges with well

  9. The advantages and disadvantages of horizontal gene transfer and the emergence of the first species.

    PubMed

    Vogan, Aaron A; Higgs, Paul G

    2011-01-03

    Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) is beneficial to a cell if the acquired gene confers a useful function, but is detrimental if the gene has no function, if it is incompatible with existing genes, or if it is a selfishly replicating mobile element. If the balance of these effects is beneficial on average, we would expect cells to evolve high rates of acceptance of horizontally transferred genes, whereas if it is detrimental, cells should reduce the rate of HGT as far as possible. It has been proposed that the rate of HGT was very high in the early stages of prokaryotic evolution, and hence there were no separate lineages of organisms. Only when the HGT rate began to fall, would lineages begin to emerge with their own distinct sets of genes. Evolution would then become more tree-like. This phenomenon has been called the Darwinian Threshold. We study a model for genome evolution that incorporates both beneficial and detrimental effects of HGT. We show that if rate of gene loss during genome replication is high, as was probably the case in the earliest genomes before the time of the last universal common ancestor, then a high rate of HGT is favourable. HGT leads to the rapid spread of new genes and allows the build-up of larger, fitter genomes than could be achieved by purely vertical inheritance. In contrast, if the gene loss rate is lower, as in modern prokaryotes, then HGT is, on average, unfavourable. Modern cells should therefore evolve to reduce HGT if they can, although the prevalence of independently replicating mobile elements and viruses may mean that cells cannot avoid HGT in practice. In the model, natural selection leads to gradual improvement of the replication accuracy and gradual decrease in the optimal rate of HGT. By clustering genomes based on gene content, we show that there are no separate lineages of organisms when the rate of HGT is high; however, as the rate of HGT decreases, a tree-like structure emerges with well-defined lineages. The model

  10. Insights on the Horizontal Gene Transfer of Carbapenemase Determinants in the Opportunistic Pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.

    PubMed

    Da Silva, Gabriela Jorge; Domingues, Sara

    2016-08-23

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a driving force to the evolution of bacteria. The fast emergence of antimicrobial resistance reflects the ability of genetic adaptation of pathogens. Acinetobacter baumannii has emerged in the last few decades as an important opportunistic nosocomial pathogen, in part due to its high capacity of acquiring resistance to diverse antibiotic families, including to the so-called last line drugs such as carbapenems. The rampant selective pressure and genetic exchange of resistance genes hinder the effective treatment of resistant infections. A. baumannii uses all the resistance mechanisms to survive against carbapenems but production of carbapenemases are the major mechanism, which may act in synergy with others. A. baumannii appears to use all the mechanisms of gene dissemination. Beyond conjugation, the mostly reported recent studies point to natural transformation, transduction and outer membrane vesicles-mediated transfer as mechanisms that may play a role in carbapenemase determinants spread. Understanding the genetic mobilization of carbapenemase genes is paramount in preventing their dissemination. Here we review the carbapenemases found in A. baumannii and present an overview of the current knowledge of contributions of the various HGT mechanisms to the molecular epidemiology of carbapenem resistance in this relevant opportunistic pathogen.

  11. Insights on the Horizontal Gene Transfer of Carbapenemase Determinants in the Opportunistic Pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii

    PubMed Central

    Da Silva, Gabriela Jorge; Domingues, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a driving force to the evolution of bacteria. The fast emergence of antimicrobial resistance reflects the ability of genetic adaptation of pathogens. Acinetobacter baumannii has emerged in the last few decades as an important opportunistic nosocomial pathogen, in part due to its high capacity of acquiring resistance to diverse antibiotic families, including to the so-called last line drugs such as carbapenems. The rampant selective pressure and genetic exchange of resistance genes hinder the effective treatment of resistant infections. A. baumannii uses all the resistance mechanisms to survive against carbapenems but production of carbapenemases are the major mechanism, which may act in synergy with others. A. baumannii appears to use all the mechanisms of gene dissemination. Beyond conjugation, the mostly reported recent studies point to natural transformation, transduction and outer membrane vesicles-mediated transfer as mechanisms that may play a role in carbapenemase determinants spread. Understanding the genetic mobilization of carbapenemase genes is paramount in preventing their dissemination. Here we review the carbapenemases found in A. baumannii and present an overview of the current knowledge of contributions of the various HGT mechanisms to the molecular epidemiology of carbapenem resistance in this relevant opportunistic pathogen. PMID:27681923

  12. Investigation of possible horizontal gene transfer from transgenic rice to soil microorganisms in paddy rice field.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    In order to monitor the possibility of horizontal gene transfer between transgenic rice and microorganisms in paddy rice field, the gene flow from bifunctional fusion (TPSP) rice containing trehalose-6-phosphate synthase and phosphatase to microorganisms in soils was investigated. The soil samples collected every month from the paddy rice field during June, 2004 to March, 2006 were investigated by multiplex PCR, Southern hybridization, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). The TPSP gene from soil genomics DNAs was not detected by PCR. Soil genomic DNAs were not shown its homologies on the Southern blotting data, indicating that gene-transfer did not occur during the last two years in paddy rice field. In addition, the AFLP band patterns produced by both soil genomic DNAs extracted from transgenic and non-transgenic rice field appeared similar to each other when analyzed by NTSYSpc program. Thus, these data suggest that transgenic rice does not give a significant impact on the communities of soil microorganisms although long-term observation may be needed.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Comparative genomics of Neisseria meningitidis: core genome, islands of horizontal transfer and pathogen-specific genes.

    PubMed

    Dunning Hotopp, Julie C; Grifantini, Renata; Kumar, Nikhil; Tzeng, Yih Ling; Fouts, Derrick; Frigimelica, Elisabetta; Draghi, Monia; Giuliani, Marzia Monica; Rappuoli, Rino; Stephens, David S; Grandi, Guido; Tettelin, Hervé

    2006-12-01

    To better understand Neisseria meningitidis genomes and virulence, microarray comparative genome hybridization (mCGH) data were collected from one Neisseria cinerea, two Neisseria lactamica, two Neisseria gonorrhoeae and 48 Neisseria meningitidis isolates. For N. meningitidis, these isolates are from diverse clonal complexes, invasive and carriage strains, and all major serogroups. The microarray platform represented N. meningitidis strains MC58, Z2491 and FAM18, and N. gonorrhoeae FA1090. By comparing hybridization data to genome sequences, the core N. meningitidis genome and insertions/deletions (e.g. capsule locus, type I secretion system) related to pathogenicity were identified, including further characterization of the capsule locus, bioinformatics analysis of a type I secretion system, and identification of some metabolic pathways associated with intracellular survival in pathogens. Hybridization data clustered meningococcal isolates from similar clonal complexes that were distinguished by the differential presence of six distinct islands of horizontal transfer. Several of these islands contained prophage or other mobile elements, including a novel prophage and a transposon carrying portions of a type I secretion system. Acquisition of some genetic islands appears to have occurred in multiple lineages, including transfer between N. lactamica and N. meningitidis. However, island acquisition occurs infrequently, such that the genomic-level relationship is not obscured within clonal complexes. The N. meningitidis genome is characterized by the horizontal acquisition of multiple genetic islands; the study of these islands reveals important sets of genes varying between isolates and likely to be related to pathogenicity.

  16. Host-parasite coevolution favours parasite genetic diversity and horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Schulte, R D; Makus, C; Schulenburg, H

    2013-08-01

    Host-parasite coevolution is predicted to favour genetic diversity and the underlying mechanisms (e.g. sexual reproduction and, more generally, genetic exchange), because diversity enhances the antagonists' potential for rapid adaptation. To date, this prediction has mainly been tested and confirmed for the host. It should similarly apply to the parasite. Indeed, our previous work demonstrated that experimental coevolution between the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its microparasite Bacillus thuringiensis selects for genetic diversity in both antagonists. For the parasite, the previous analysis was based on plasmid-encoded toxin gene markers. Thus, it was restricted to a very small part of the bacterial genome and did not cover the main chromosome, which harbours a large variety of virulence factors. Here, we present new data for chromosomal gene markers of B. thuringiensis and combine this information with the previous results on plasmid-encoded toxins. Our new results demonstrate that, in comparison with the control treatment, coevolution with a host similarly leads to higher levels of genetic diversity in the bacterial chromosome, thus indicating the relevance of chromosomal genes for coevolution. Furthermore, the frequency of toxin gene gain is significantly elevated during coevolution, highlighting the importance of horizontal gene transfer as a diversity-generating mechanism. In conclusion, our study emphasizes the strong influence of antagonistic coevolution on parasite genetic diversity and gene exchange. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. Extensive recombination events and horizontal gene transfer shaped the Legionella pneumophila genomes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen of environmental protozoa. When humans inhale contaminated aerosols this bacterium may cause a severe pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. Despite the abundance of dozens of Legionella species in aquatic reservoirs, the vast majority of human disease is caused by a single serogroup (Sg) of a single species, namely L. pneumophila Sg1. To get further insights into genome dynamics and evolution of Sg1 strains, we sequenced strains Lorraine and HL 0604 1035 (Sg1) and compared them to the available sequences of Sg1 strains Paris, Lens, Corby and Philadelphia, resulting in a comprehensive multigenome analysis. Results We show that L. pneumophila Sg1 has a highly conserved and syntenic core genome that comprises the many eukaryotic like proteins and a conserved repertoire of over 200 Dot/Icm type IV secreted substrates. However, recombination events and horizontal gene transfer are frequent. In particular the analyses of the distribution of nucleotide polymorphisms suggests that large chromosomal fragments of over 200 kbs are exchanged between L. pneumophila strains and contribute to the genome dynamics in the natural population. The many secretion systems present might be implicated in exchange of these fragments by conjugal transfer. Plasmids also play a role in genome diversification and are exchanged among strains and circulate between different Legionella species. Conclusion Horizontal gene transfer among bacteria and from eukaryotes to L. pneumophila as well as recombination between strains allows different clones to evolve into predominant disease clones and others to replace them subsequently within relatively short periods of time. PMID:22044686

  18. Gut inflammation can boost horizontal gene transfer between pathogenic and commensal Enterobacteriaceae

    PubMed Central

    Stecher, Bärbel; Denzler, Rémy; Maier, Lisa; Bernet, Florian; Sanders, Mandy J.; Pickard, Derek J.; Barthel, Manja; Westendorf, Astrid M.; Krogfelt, Karen A.; Walker, Alan W.; Ackermann, Martin; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Thomson, Nicholas R.; Hardt, Wolf-Dietrich

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian gut harbors a dense microbial community interacting in multiple ways, including horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Pangenome analyses established particularly high levels of genetic flux between Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae. However, the mechanisms fostering intraenterobacterial HGT are incompletely understood. Using a mouse colitis model, we found that Salmonella-inflicted enteropathy elicits parallel blooms of the pathogen and of resident commensal Escherichia coli. These blooms boosted conjugative HGT of the colicin-plasmid p2 from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium to E. coli. Transconjugation efficiencies of ∼100% in vivo were attributable to high intrinsic p2-transfer rates. Plasmid-encoded fitness benefits contributed little. Under normal conditions, HGT was blocked by the commensal microbiota inhibiting contact-dependent conjugation between Enterobacteriaceae. Our data show that pathogen-driven inflammatory responses in the gut can generate transient enterobacterial blooms in which conjugative transfer occurs at unprecedented rates. These blooms may favor reassortment of plasmid-encoded genes between pathogens and commensals fostering the spread of fitness-, virulence-, and antibiotic-resistance determinants. PMID:22232693

  19. A 55-kilodalton immunodominant antigen of Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 has arisen via horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Hanley, S A; Aduse-Opoku, J; Curtis, M A

    1999-03-01

    A 55-kDa outer membrane protein of Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 is a significant target of the serum immunoglobulin G antibody response of periodontal disease patients and hence may play an important role in host-bacterium interactions in periodontal disease. The gene encoding the 55-kDa antigen (ragB, for receptor antigen B) was isolated on a 9.5-kb partial Sau3AI fragment of P. gingivalis W50 chromosomal DNA in pUC18 by immunoscreening with a monoclonal antibody to this antigen. The 1.6-kb open reading frame (ORF) encoding RagB was located via subcloning and nested-deletion analysis. Sequence analysis demonstrated the presence of an upstream 3.1-kb ORF (ragA) which is cotranscribed with ragB. A number of genetic characteristics suggest that the ragAB locus was acquired by a horizontal gene transfer event. These include a significantly reduced G+C content relative to that of the P. gingivalis chromosome (42 versus 48%) and the presence of mobility elements flanking this locus in P. gingivalis W50. Furthermore, Southern blotting and PCR analyses showed a restricted distribution of this locus in laboratory and clinical isolates of this bacterium. The association of ragAB+ P. gingivalis with clinical status was examined by PCR analysis of subgingival samples. ragAB+ was not detected in P. gingivalis-positive shallow pockets from periodontal disease patients but was present in 36% of the P. gingivalis-positive samples from deep pockets. These data suggest that the ragAB locus was acquired by certain P. gingivalis strains via horizontal gene transfer and that the acquisition of this locus may facilitate the survival of these strains at sites of periodontal destruction.

  20. 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

  1. Origin of the plant Tm-1-like gene via two independent horizontal transfer events and one gene fusion event

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zefeng; Liu, Li; Fang, Huimin; Li, Pengcheng; Xu, Shuhui; Cao, Wei; Xu, Chenwu; Huang, Jinling; Zhou, Yong

    2016-01-01

    The Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) resistance gene Tm-1 encodes a direct inhibitor of ToMV RNA replication to protect tomato from infection. The plant Tm-1-like (Tm-1L) protein is predicted to contain an uncharacterized N-terminal UPF0261 domain and a C-terminal TIM-barrel signal transduction (TBST) domain. Homologous searches revealed that proteins containing both of these two domains are mainly present in charophyte green algae and land plants but absent from glaucophytes, red algae and chlorophyte green algae. Although Tm-1 homologs are widely present in bacteria, archaea and fungi, UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins are generally encoded by different genes in these linages. A co-evolution analysis also suggested a putative interaction between UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins. Phylogenetic analyses based on homologs of these two domains revealed that plants have acquired UPF0261- and TBST-domain-encoding genes through two independent horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events before the origin of land plants from charophytes. Subsequently, gene fusion occurred between these two horizontally acquired genes and resulted in the origin of the Tm-1L gene in streptophytes. Our results demonstrate a novel evolutionary mechanism through which the recipient organism may acquire genes with functional interaction through two different HGT events and further fuse them into one functional gene. PMID:27647002

  2. 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

    2016-05-03

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Viridans Group Streptococci Are Donors in Horizontal Transfer of Topoisomerase IV Genes to Streptococcus pneumoniae

    PubMed Central

    Balsalobre, Luz; Ferrándiz, María José; Liñares, Josefina; Tubau, Fe; de la Campa, Adela G.

    2003-01-01

    A total of 46 ciprofloxacin-resistant (Cipr) Streptococcus pneumoniae strains were isolated from 1991 to 2001 at the Hospital of Bellvitge. Five of these strains showed unexpectedly high rates of nucleotide variations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of their parC, parE, and gyrA genes. The nucleotide sequence of the full-length parC, parE, and gyrA genes of one of these isolates revealed a mosaic structure compatible with an interspecific recombination origin. Southern blot analysis and nucleotide sequence determinations showed the presence of an ant-like gene in the intergenic parE-parC regions of the S. pneumoniae Cipr isolates with high rates of variations in their parE and parC QRDRs. The ant-like gene was absent from typical S. pneumoniae strains, whereas it was present in the intergenic parE-parC regions of the viridans group streptococci (Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus oralis). These results suggest that the viridans group streptococci are acting as donors in the horizontal transfer of fluoroquinolone resistance genes to S. pneumoniae. PMID:12821449

  7. Viridans group streptococci are donors in horizontal transfer of topoisomerase IV genes to Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Balsalobre, Luz; Ferrándiz, María José; Liñares, Josefina; Tubau, Fe; de la Campa, Adela G

    2003-07-01

    A total of 46 ciprofloxacin-resistant (Cip(r)) Streptococcus pneumoniae strains were isolated from 1991 to 2001 at the Hospital of Bellvitge. Five of these strains showed unexpectedly high rates of nucleotide variations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of their parC, parE, and gyrA genes. The nucleotide sequence of the full-length parC, parE, and gyrA genes of one of these isolates revealed a mosaic structure compatible with an interspecific recombination origin. Southern blot analysis and nucleotide sequence determinations showed the presence of an ant-like gene in the intergenic parE-parC regions of the S. pneumoniae Cip(r) isolates with high rates of variations in their parE and parC QRDRs. The ant-like gene was absent from typical S. pneumoniae strains, whereas it was present in the intergenic parE-parC regions of the viridans group streptococci (Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus oralis). These results suggest that the viridans group streptococci are acting as donors in the horizontal transfer of fluoroquinolone resistance genes to S. pneumoniae.

  8. Organic compounds stimulate horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in mixed wastewater treatment systems.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Ya-Nan; Chen, Hong; Gao, Rui-Xia; Zhu, Yong-Guan; Rensing, Christopher

    2017-10-01

    Domestic wastewater treatment plants as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have received much attention, but the effect of dyes on the propagation of ARGs has rarely been investigated. In this study, we investigated the differences in distributions of ARGs and microbial communities using high-throughput qPCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, respectively, between mixed (dyeing and domestic) wastewater and domestic sewage. The relative abundance of ARGs in inflows of mixed wastewater (IW2 and IW3) was higher than that of domestic wastewater (IW1). The relative abundance of mobile genetic elements in the inflow of textile dyeing wastewater (IDW3) was 3- to 13-fold higher than that in other samples. Moreover, in IDW3, some distinct high abundance ARGs, particularly operons encoding efflux pumps (such as acrR-01, acrB-01 and acrF), were significantly correlated with Streptococcus of the Firmicutes. To explore why the abundance of ARGs was relatively high in mixed wastewater, six representative types of organic compounds in textile dyeing wastewater were used to test the effect on plasmid-based conjugative transfer from E. coli HB101 to E. coli NK5449. These six compounds all facilitated the transfer of resistance-carrying RP4 plasmid, and the highest transfer frequency (approximately 10(-5)-10(-3)) was over 4- to 200-fold higher than that in the control group (approximately 10(-6)-10(-5)). These results illustrated that the six common residual compounds, particularly low-dose substances in IDW3, could facilitate the dissemination of ARGs in aquatic environments. More importantly, this study revealed for the first time that dyeing contaminants influenced horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of ARGs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Evidence for horizontal gene transfer from bacteroidetes bacteria to dinoflagellate minicircles.

    PubMed

    Moszczynski, Krzysztof; Mackiewicz, Pawel; Bodyl, Andrzej

    2012-03-01

    Dinoflagellate protists harbor a characteristic peridinin-containing plastid that evolved from a red or haptophyte alga. In contrast to typical plastids that have ∼100-200 kb circular genomes, the dinoflagellate plastid genome is composed of minicircles that each encode 0-5 genes. It is commonly assumed that dinoflagellate minicircles are derived from a standard plastid genome through drastic reduction and fragmentation. However, we demonstrate that the ycf16 and ycf24 genes (encoded on the Ceratium AF490364 minicircle), as well as rpl28 and rpl33 (encoded on the Pyrocystis AF490367 minicircle), are related to sequences from Algoriphagus and/or Cytophaga bacteria belonging to the Bacteroidetes clade. Moreover, we identified a new open reading frame on the Pyrocystis minicircle encoding a SRP54 N domain, which is typical of FtsY proteins. Because neither of these minicircles share sequence similarity with any other dinoflagellate minicircles, and their genes resemble bacterial operons, we propose that these Ceratium and Pyrocystis minicircles resulted from a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from a Bacteroidetes donor. Our findings are the first indication of HGT to dinoflagellate minicircles, highlighting yet another peculiar aspect of this plastid genome.

  10. The conflict between horizontal gene transfer and the safeguard of identity: origin of meiotic sexuality.

    PubMed

    Glansdorff, Nicolas; Xu, Ying; Labedan, Bernard

    2009-11-01

    Contrary to a widespread opinion, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between distantly related microorganisms (such as Bacteria and Archaea) has not been demonstrated to occur on a large scale. Except for transfer of mobile elements between closely related organisms, most alleged HGT events reflect phylogenetic discrepancies that can be explained by a variety of artefacts or by the differential loss of paralogous gene copies either originally present in the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) to the three Domains (a sophisticated, genetically redundant and promiscuous community of protoeukaryotes), or created by duplications having occurred at later times. Besides, (i) there is no experimental evidence for the facile acquisition of foreign DNA between distant taxa and (ii) important biological constraints operate on the phenotypic success of genetic exchange at several levels, including protein-protein interactions involved in metabolic channelling; stable integration and expression of foreign DNA is, therefore, expected to require strong selection. Explaining phylogenetic discrepancies by artefacts or loss of paralogs does not eliminate difficulties in retracing species genealogy but maintains the picture of a universal tree of life, HGT between distant organisms being reduced to a trickle. We illustrate our thesis by the phylogenetic analysis of carbamoyltransferases, a family of paralogous proteins. Among higher eukaryotes HGT appears of limited scope except in asexual organisms. We suggest that meiotic sexuality (a hallmark of eukaryotes) emerged in the genetically redundant and protoeukaryotic LUCA as a molecular identity check providing a defence mechanism against the deleterious effects of HGT.

  11. Potential for horizontal gene transfer in microbial communities of the terrestrial subsurface.

    PubMed

    Coombs, Jonna M

    2009-01-01

    The deep terrestrial subsurface is a vast, largely unexplored environment that is oligotrophic, highly heterogeneous, and may contain extremes of both physical and chemical factors. In spite of harsh conditions, subsurface studies at several widely distributed geographic sites have revealed diverse communities of viable organisms, which have provided evidence of low but detectable metabolic activity. Although much of the terrestrial subsurface may be considered to be distant and isolated, the concept of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in this environment has far-reaching implications for bioremediation efforts and groundwater quality, industrial harvesting of subsurface natural resources such as petroleum, and accurate assessment of the risks associated with DNA release and transport from genetically modified organisms. This chapter will explore what is known about some of the major mechanisms of HGT, and how the information gained from surface organisms might apply to conditions in the terrestrial subsurface. Evidence for the presence of mobile elements in subsurface bacteria and limited retrospective studies examining genetic signatures of potential past gene transfer events will be discussed.

  12. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) as a mechanism of disseminating RDX-degrading activity among Actinomycete bacteria.

    PubMed

    Jung, C M; Crocker, F H; Eberly, J O; Indest, K J

    2011-06-01

    Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5,-triazine (RDX) is a cyclic nitramine explosive that is a major component in many high-explosive formulations and has been found as a contaminant of soil and groundwater. The RDX-degrading gene locus xplAB, located on pGKT2 in Gordonia sp. KTR9, is highly conserved among isolates from disparate geographical locations suggesting a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event. It was our goal to determine whether Gordonia sp. KTR9 is capable of transferring pGKT2 and the associated RDX degradation ability to other bacteria. We demonstrate the successful conjugal transfer of pGKT2 from Gordonia sp. KTR9 to Gordonia polyisoprenivorans, Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 and Nocardia sp. TW2. Through growth and RDX degradation studies, it was demonstrated that pGKT2 conferred to transconjugants the ability to degrade and utilize RDX as a nitrogen source. The inhibitory effect of exogenous inorganic nitrogen sources on RDX degradation in transconjugant strains was found to be strain specific. Plasmid pGKT2 can be transferred by conjugation, along with the ability to degrade RDX, to related bacteria, providing evidence of at least one mechanism for the dissemination and persistence of xplAB in the environment. These results provide evidence of one mechanism for the environmental dissemination of xplAB and provide a framework for future field relevant bioremediation practices. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2011 The Society for Applied Microbiology. No claim to US Government works.

  13. Transient Hypermutagenesis Accelerates the Evolution of Legume Endosymbionts following Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Remigi, Philippe; Capela, Delphine; Clerissi, Camille; Tasse, Léna; Torchet, Rachel; Bouchez, Olivier; Batut, Jacques; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Rocha, Eduardo P. C.; Masson-Boivin, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important mode of adaptation and diversification of prokaryotes and eukaryotes and a major event underlying the emergence of bacterial pathogens and mutualists. Yet it remains unclear how complex phenotypic traits such as the ability to fix nitrogen with legumes have successfully spread over large phylogenetic distances. Here we show, using experimental evolution coupled with whole genome sequencing, that co-transfer of imuABC error-prone DNA polymerase genes with key symbiotic genes accelerates the evolution of a soil bacterium into a legume symbiont. Following introduction of the symbiotic plasmid of Cupriavidus taiwanensis, the Mimosa symbiont, into pathogenic Ralstonia solanacearum we challenged transconjugants to become Mimosa symbionts through serial plant-bacteria co-cultures. We demonstrate that a mutagenesis imuABC cassette encoded on the C. taiwanensis symbiotic plasmid triggered a transient hypermutability stage in R. solanacearum transconjugants that occurred before the cells entered the plant. The generated burst in genetic diversity accelerated symbiotic adaptation of the recipient genome under plant selection pressure, presumably by improving the exploration of the fitness landscape. Finally, we show that plasmid imuABC cassettes are over-represented in rhizobial lineages harboring symbiotic plasmids. Our findings shed light on a mechanism that may have facilitated the dissemination of symbiotic competency among α- and β-proteobacteria in natura and provide evidence for the positive role of environment-induced mutagenesis in the acquisition of a complex lifestyle trait. We speculate that co-transfer of complex phenotypic traits with mutagenesis determinants might frequently enhance the ecological success of HGT. PMID:25181317

  14. Horizontal gene transfer of the algal nuclear gene psbO to the photosynthetic sea slug Elysia chlorotica.

    PubMed

    Rumpho, Mary E; Worful, Jared M; Lee, Jungho; Kannan, Krishna; Tyler, Mary S; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Moustafa, Ahmed; Manhart, James R

    2008-11-18

    The sea slug Elysia chlorotica acquires plastids by ingestion of its algal food source Vaucheria litorea. Organelles are sequestered in the mollusc's digestive epithelium, where they photosynthesize for months in the absence of algal nucleocytoplasm. This is perplexing because plastid metabolism depends on the nuclear genome for >90% of the needed proteins. Two possible explanations for the persistence of photosynthesis in the sea slug are (i) the ability of V. litorea plastids to retain genetic autonomy and/or (ii) more likely, the mollusc provides the essential plastid proteins. Under the latter scenario, genes supporting photosynthesis have been acquired by the animal via horizontal gene transfer and the encoded proteins are retargeted to the plastid. We sequenced the plastid genome and confirmed that it lacks the full complement of genes required for photosynthesis. In support of the second scenario, we demonstrated that a nuclear gene of oxygenic photosynthesis, psbO, is expressed in the sea slug and has integrated into the germline. The source of psbO in the sea slug is V. litorea because this sequence is identical from the predator and prey genomes. Evidence that the transferred gene has integrated into sea slug nuclear DNA comes from the finding of a highly diverged psbO 3' flanking sequence in the algal and mollusc nuclear homologues and gene absence from the mitochondrial genome of E. chlorotica. We demonstrate that foreign organelle retention generates metabolic novelty ("green animals") and is explained by anastomosis of distinct branches of the tree of life driven by predation and horizontal gene transfer.

  15. Phylogenetic detection of horizontal gene transfer during the step-wise genesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background In the past decade, the availability of complete genome sequence data has greatly facilitated comparative genomic research aimed at addressing genetic variability within species. More recently, analysis across species has become feasible, especially in genera where genome sequencing projects of multiple species have been initiated. To understand the genesis of the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis within a genus where the majority of species are harmless environmental organisms, we have used genome sequence data from 16 mycobacteria to look for evidence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) associated with the emergence of pathogenesis. First, using multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) of 20 housekeeping genes across these species, we derived a phylogeny that serves as the basis for HGT assignments. Next, we performed alignment searches for the 3989 proteins of M. tuberculosis H37Rv against 15 other mycobacterial genomes, generating a matrix of 59835 comparisons, to look for genetic elements that were uniquely found in M. tuberculosis and closely-related pathogenic mycobacteria. To assign when foreign genes were likely acquired, we designed a bioinformatic program called mycoHIT (mycobacterial homologue investigation tool) to analyze these data in conjunction with the MLSA-based phylogeny. Results The bioinformatic screen predicted that 137 genes had been acquired by HGT at different phylogenetic strata; these included genes coding for metabolic functions and modification of mycobacterial lipids. For the majority of these genes, corroborating evidence of HGT was obtained, such as presence of phage or plasmid, and an aberrant GC%. Conclusion M. tuberculosis emerged through vertical inheritance along with the step-wise addition of genes acquired via HGT events, a process that may more generally describe the evolution of other pathogens. PMID:19664275

  16. Phylogenetic detection of horizontal gene transfer during the step-wise genesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Veyrier, Frédéric; Pletzer, Daniel; Turenne, Christine; Behr, Marcel A

    2009-08-10

    In the past decade, the availability of complete genome sequence data has greatly facilitated comparative genomic research aimed at addressing genetic variability within species. More recently, analysis across species has become feasible, especially in genera where genome sequencing projects of multiple species have been initiated. To understand the genesis of the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis within a genus where the majority of species are harmless environmental organisms, we have used genome sequence data from 16 mycobacteria to look for evidence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) associated with the emergence of pathogenesis. First, using multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) of 20 housekeeping genes across these species, we derived a phylogeny that serves as the basis for HGT assignments. Next, we performed alignment searches for the 3989 proteins of M. tuberculosis H37Rv against 15 other mycobacterial genomes, generating a matrix of 59835 comparisons, to look for genetic elements that were uniquely found in M. tuberculosis and closely-related pathogenic mycobacteria. To assign when foreign genes were likely acquired, we designed a bioinformatic program called mycoHIT (mycobacterial homologue investigation tool) to analyze these data in conjunction with the MLSA-based phylogeny. The bioinformatic screen predicted that 137 genes had been acquired by HGT at different phylogenetic strata; these included genes coding for metabolic functions and modification of mycobacterial lipids. For the majority of these genes, corroborating evidence of HGT was obtained, such as presence of phage or plasmid, and an aberrant GC%. M. tuberculosis emerged through vertical inheritance along with the step-wise addition of genes acquired via HGT events, a process that may more generally describe the evolution of other pathogens.

  17. Modeling horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in the gut of the Chagas disease vector Rhodnius prolixus

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Paratransgenesis is an approach to reducing arthropod vector competence using genetically modified symbionts. When applied to control of Chagas disease, the symbiont bacterium Rhodococcus rhodnii, resident in the gut lumen of the triatomine vector Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), is transformed to export cecropin A, an insect immune peptide. Cecropin A is active against Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. While proof of concept has been achieved in laboratory studies, a rigorous and comprehensive risk assessment is required prior to consideration of field release. An important part of this assessment involves estimating probability of transgene horizontal transfer to environmental organisms (HGT). This article presents a two-part risk assessment methodology: a theoretical model predicting HGT in the gut of R. prolixus from the genetically transformed symbiont R. rhodnii to a closely related non-target bacterium, Gordona rubropertinctus, in the absence of selection pressure, and a series of laboratory trials designed to test the model. Results The model predicted an HGT frequency of less than 1.14 × 10-16 per 100,000 generations at the 99% certainty level. The model was iterated twenty times, with the mean of the ten highest outputs evaluated at the 99% certainty level. Laboratory trials indicated no horizontal gene transfer, supporting the conclusions of the model. Conclusions The model treats HGT as a composite event, the probability of which is determined by the joint probability of three independent events: gene transfer through the modalities of transformation, transduction, and conjugation. Genes are represented in matrices and Monte Carlo method and Markov chain analysis are used to simulate and evaluate environmental conditions. The model is intended as a risk assessment instrument and predicts HGT frequency of less than 1.14 × 10-16 per 100,000 generations. With laboratory studies that support the predictions of

  18. 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

  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.

  20. Polygalacturonase from Sitophilus oryzae: Possible horizontal transfer of a pectinase gene from fungi to weevils

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Zhicheng; Denton, Michael; Mutti, Navdeep; Pappan, Kirk; Kanost, Michael R.; Reese, John C.; Reeck, Gerald R.

    2003-01-01

    Endo-polygalacturonase, one of the group of enzymes known collectively as pectinases, is widely distributed in bacteria, plants and fungi. The enzyme has also been found in several weevil species and a few other insects, such as aphids, but not in Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae, or Caenorhabditis elegans or, as far as is known, in any more primitive animal species. What, then, is the genetic origin of the polygalacturonases in weevils? Since some weevil species harbor symbiotic microorganisms, it has been suggested, reasonably, that the symbionts' genomes of both aphids and weevils, rather than the insects' genomes, could encode polygalacturonase. We report here the cloning of a cDNA that encodes endo-polygalacturonase in the rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae (L.), and investigations based on the cloned cDNA. Our results, which include analysis of genes in antibiotic-treated rice weevils, indicate that the enzyme is, in fact, encoded by the insect genome. Given the apparent absence of the gene in much of the rest of the animal kingdom, it is therefore likely that the rice weevil polygalacturonase gene was incorporated into the weevil's genome by horizontal transfer, possibly from a fungus. PMID:15841240

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Horizontal gene transfer among microorganisms in food: current knowledge and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Franca; Rizzotti, Lucia; Felis, Giovanna E; Torriani, Sandra

    2014-09-01

    The possibility of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among microorganisms in food matrices has been specifically targeted in a few investigations, though most current knowledge has been obtained indirectly or derived from genome sequence analyses. In this review, we have assembled reported examples of the HGT events that probably occurred in food matrices since the bacterial partners involved are commonly found in association in a food matrix or are specifically adapted to it. Exchanged genes include those encoding for substrate utilization, bacteriocin, exopolysaccharide and biogenic amine (BA) production, immunity to bacteriophages and antibiotic resistance (AR). While the acquisition of new traits involved in substrate utilization led to the natural genetic improvement of the microbial cultures for food production, the acquisition of hazardous traits, e.g., AR, virulence or BA production genes, can give rise to health concerns in otherwise innocuous species. Available evidence suggests that it would be opportune to determine what conditions favour HGT among bacteria in food ecosystems in order to naturally obtain improved starter or adjunct cultures, and also to prevent the propagation of hazardous traits.

  4. Horizontal gene transfer versus biostimulation: A strategy for bioremediation in Goa.

    PubMed

    Pasumarthi, Rajesh; Mutnuri, Srikanth

    2016-12-15

    Bioaugmentation, Biostimulation and Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of catabolic genes have been proven for their role in bioremediation of hydrocarbons. It also has been proved that selection of either biostimulation or bioremediation varies for every contaminated site. The reliability of HGT compared to biostimulation and bioremediation was not tested. The present study focuses on reliability of biostimulatiion, bioaugmentation and HGT during biodegradation of Diesel oil and Non aqueous phase liquids (NAPL). Pseudomonas aeruginosa (AEBBITS1) having alkB and NDO genes was used for bioaugmentation and the experiment was conducted using seawater as medium. Based on Gas chromatography results diesel was found to be degraded to 100% in both presence and absence of AEBBITS1. Denturing gradient gel electrophoresis result showed same pattern in presence and absence of AEBBITS1 indicating no HGT. NAPL degradation was found to be more by Biostimulated Bioaugmentation compared to biostimulation and bioaugmentation alone. This proves that biostimulated bioaugmentation is better strategy for oil contamination (tarabll) in Velsao beach, Goa. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Multiple horizontal transfers of nuclear ribosomal genes between phylogenetically distinct grass lineages

    PubMed Central

    Mahelka, Václav; Krak, Karol; Kopecký, David; Fehrer, Judith; Šafář, Jan; Bartoš, Jan; Hobza, Roman; Blavet, Nicolas; Blattner, Frank R.

    2017-01-01

    The movement of nuclear DNA from one vascular plant species to another in the absence of fertilization is thought to be rare. Here, nonnative rRNA gene [ribosomal DNA (rDNA)] copies were identified in a set of 16 diploid barley (Hordeum) species; their origin was traceable via their internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence to five distinct Panicoideae genera, a lineage that split from the Pooideae about 60 Mya. Phylogenetic, cytogenetic, and genomic analyses implied that the nonnative sequences were acquired between 1 and 5 Mya after a series of multiple events, with the result that some current Hordeum sp. individuals harbor up to five different panicoid rDNA units in addition to the native Hordeum rDNA copies. There was no evidence that any of the nonnative rDNA units were transcribed; some showed indications of having been silenced via pseudogenization. A single copy of a Panicum sp. rDNA unit present in H. bogdanii had been interrupted by a native transposable element and was surrounded by about 70 kbp of mostly noncoding sequence of panicoid origin. The data suggest that horizontal gene transfer between vascular plants is not a rare event, that it is not necessarily restricted to one or a few genes only, and that it can be selectively neutral. PMID:28137844

  6. Identification and structure of the Rhizobium galegae common nodulation genes: evidence for horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Suominen, L; Roos, C; Lortet, G; Paulin, L; Lindström, K

    2001-06-01

    Rhizobia are soil bacteria able to fix atmospheric nitrogen in symbiosis with leguminous plants. In response to a signal cascade coded by genes of both symbiotic partners, a specific plant organ, the nodule, is formed. Rhizobial nodulation (nod) genes trigger nodule formation through the synthesis of Nod factors, a family of chitolipooligosaccharides that are specifically recognized by the host plant at the first stages of the nodulation process. Here, we present the organization and sequence of the common nod genes from Rhizobium galegae, a symbiotic member of the RHIZOBIACEAE: This species has an intriguing phylogenetic position, being symbiotic among pathogenic agrobacteria, which induce tumors instead of nodules in plant shoots or roots. This apparent incongruence raises special interest in the origin of the symbiotic apparatus of R. galegae. Our analysis of DNA sequence data indicated that the organization of the common nod gene region of R. galegae was similar to that of Sinorhizobium meliloti and Rhizobium leguminosarum, with nodIJ downstream of nodABC and the regulatory nodD gene closely linked to the common nod operon. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of the nod gene sequences showed a close relationship especially between the common nodA sequences of R. galegae, S. meliloti, and R. leguminosarum biovars viciae and trifolii. This relationship in structure and sequence contrasts with the phylogeny based on 16S rRNA, which groups R. galegae close to agrobacteria and separate from most other rhizobia. The topology of the nodA tree was similar to that of the corresponding host plant tree. Taken together, these observations indicate that lateral nod gene transfer occurred from fast-growing rhizobia toward agrobacteria, after which the symbiotic apparatus evolved under host plant constraint.

  7. Phylogenetic evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer of type III secretion system genes among enterobacterial plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Naum, Marianna; Brown, Eric W; Mason-Gamer, Roberta J

    2009-10-01

    This study uses sequences from four genes, which are involved in the formation of the type III secretion apparatus, to determine the role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of virulence genes for the enterobacterial plant pathogens. Sequences of Erwinia, Brenneria, Pectobacterium, Dickeya and Pantoea were compared (a) with one another, (b) with sequences of enterobacterial animal pathogens, and (c) with sequences of plant pathogenic gamma and beta proteobacteria, to evaluate probable paths of lateral exchange leading to the current distribution of virulence determinants among these micro-organisms. Phylogenies were reconstructed based on hrcC, hrcR, hrcJ and hrcV gene sequences using parsimony and maximum-likelihood algorithms. Virulence gene phylogenies were also compared with several housekeeping gene loci in order to evaluate patterns of lateral versus vertical acquisition. The resulting phylogenies suggest that multiple horizontal gene transfer events have occurred both within and among the enterobacterial plant pathogens and plant pathogenic gamma and beta proteobacteria. hrcJ sequences are the most similar, exhibiting anywhere from 2 to 50 % variation at the nucleotide level, with the highest degree of variation present between plant and animal pathogen sequences. hrcV sequences are conserved among plant and animal pathogens at the N terminus. The C-terminal domain is conserved only among the enterobacterial plant pathogens, as are the hrcC and hrcR sequences. Additionally, hrcJ and hrcV sequence phylogenies suggest that at least some type III secretion system virulence genes from enterobacterial plant pathogens are related more closely to those of the genus Pseudomonas, a conclusion neither supported nor refuted by hrcC or hrcR.

  8. Horizontal Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance Genes on Abiotic Touch Surfaces: Implications for Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Warnes, Sarah L.; Highmore, Callum J.; Keevil, C. William

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is largely responsible for increasing the incidence of antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide. While studies have focused on HGT in vivo, this work investigates whether the ability of pathogens to persist in the environment, particularly on touch surfaces, may also play an important role. Escherichia coli, virulent clone ST131, and Klebsiella pneumoniae harboring extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL) blaCTX-M-15 and metallo-β-lactamase blaNDM-1, respectively, exhibited prolonged survival on stainless steel, with approximately 104 viable cells remaining from an inoculum of 107 CFU per cm2 after 1 month at 21°C. HGT of bla to an antibiotic-sensitive but azide-resistant recipient E. coli strain occurred on stainless steel dry touch surfaces and in suspension but not on dry copper. The conjugation frequency was approximately 10 to 50 times greater and occurred immediately, and resulting transconjugants were more stable with ESBL E. coli as the donor cell than with K. pneumoniae, but blaNDM-1 transfer increased with time. Transconjugants also exhibited the same resistance profile as the donor, suggesting multiple gene transfer. Rapid death, inhibition of respiration, and destruction of genomic and plasmid DNA of both pathogens occurred on copper alloys accompanied by a reduction in bla copy number. Naked E. coli DNA degraded on copper at 21°C and 37°C but slowly at 4°C, suggesting a direct role for the metal. Persistence of viable pathogenic bacteria on touch surfaces may not only increase the risk of infection transmission but may also contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance by HGT. The use of copper alloys as antimicrobial touch surfaces may help reduce infection and HGT. PMID:23188508

  9. Horizontal transfer and gene conversion as an important driving force in shaping the landscape of mitochondrial introns.

    PubMed

    Wu, Baojun; Hao, Weilong

    2014-04-16

    Group I introns are highly dynamic and mobile, featuring extensive presence-absence variation and widespread horizontal transfer. Group I introns can invade intron-lacking alleles via intron homing powered by their own encoded homing endonuclease gene (HEG) after horizontal transfer or via reverse splicing through an RNA intermediate. After successful invasion, the intron and HEG are subject to degeneration and sequential loss. It remains unclear whether these mechanisms can fully address the high dynamics and mobility of group I introns. Here, we found that HEGs undergo a fast gain-and-loss turnover comparable with introns in the yeast mitochondrial 21S-rRNA gene, which is unexpected, as the intron and HEG are generally believed to move together as a unit. We further observed extensively mosaic sequences in both the introns and HEGs, and evidence of gene conversion between HEG-containing and HEG-lacking introns. Our findings suggest horizontal transfer and gene conversion can accelerate HEG/intron degeneration and loss, or rescue and propagate HEG/introns, and ultimately result in high HEG/intron turnover rate. Given that up to 25% of the yeast mitochondrial genome is composed of introns and most mitochondrial introns are group I introns, horizontal transfer and gene conversion could have served as an important mechanism in introducing mitochondrial intron diversity, promoting intron mobility and consequently shaping mitochondrial genome architecture.

  10. Mycelia as a focal point for horizontal gene transfer among soil bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Berthold, Tom; Centler, Florian; Hübschmann, Thomas; Remer, Rita; Thullner, Martin; Harms, Hauke; Wick, Lukas Y.

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a main mechanism of bacterial evolution endowing bacteria with new genetic traits. The transfer of mobile genetic elements such as plasmids (conjugation) requires the close proximity of cells. HGT between genetically distinct bacteria largely depends on cell movement in water films, which are typically discontinuous in natural systems like soil. Using laboratory microcosms, a bacterial reporter system and flow cytometry, we here investigated if and to which degree mycelial networks facilitate contact of and HGT between spatially separated bacteria. Our study shows that the network structures of mycelia promote bacterial HGT by providing continuous liquid films in which bacterial migration and contacts are favoured. This finding was confirmed by individual-based simulations, revealing that the tendency of migrating bacteria to concentrate in the liquid film around hyphae is a key factor for improved HGT along mycelial networks. Given their ubiquity, we propose that hyphae can act as focal point for HGT and genetic adaptation in soil. PMID:27811990

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Extent of Horizontal Gene Transfer in Evolution of Streptococci of the Salivarius Group▿

    PubMed Central

    Delorme, Christine; Poyart, Claire; Ehrlich, S. Dusko; Renault, Pierre

    2007-01-01

    The phylogenetically closely related species Streptococcus salivarius and Streptococcus vestibularis are oral bacteria that are considered commensals, although they can also be found in human infections. The relationship between these two species and the relationship between strains isolated from carriers and strains responsible for invasive infections were investigated by multilocus sequence typing and additional sequence analysis. The clustering of several S. vestibularis alleles and the extent of genomic divergence at certain loci support the conclusion that S. salivarius and S. vestibularis are separate species. The level of sequence diversity in S. salivarius alleles is generally high, whereas that in S. vestibularis alleles is low at certain loci, indicating that the latter species might have evolved recently. Cluster analysis indicated that there has been genetic exchange between S. salivarius and S. vestibularis at three of the nine loci investigated. Horizontal gene transfer between streptococci belonging to the S. salivarius group and other oral streptococci was also detected at several loci. A high level of recombination in S. salivarius was revealed by allele index association and split decomposition sequence analyses. Commensal and infection-associated S. salivarius strains could not be distinguished by cluster analysis, suggesting that the pathogen isolates are opportunistic. Taken together, our results indicate that there is a high level of gene exchange that contributes to the evolution of two streptococcal species from the human oral cavity. PMID:17085557

  14. HGT-Gen: a tool for generating a phylogenetic tree with horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Horiike, Tokumasa; Miyata, Daisuke; Tateno, Yoshio; Minai, Ryoichi

    2011-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a common event in prokaryotic evolution. Therefore, it is very important to consider HGT in the study of molecular evolution of prokaryotes. This is true also for conducting computer simulations of their molecular phylogeny because HGT is known to be a serious disturbing factor for estimating their correct phylogeny. To the best of our knowledge, no existing computer program has generated a phylogenetic tree with HGT from an original phylogenetic tree. We developed a program called HGT-Gen that generates a phylogenetic tree with HGT on the basis of an original phylogenetic tree of a protein or gene. HGT-Gen converts an operational taxonomic unit or a clade from one place to another in a given phylogenetic tree. We have also devised an algorithm to compute the average length between any pair of branches in the tree. It defines and computes the relative evolutionary time to normalize evolutionary time for each lineage. The algorithm can generate an HGT between a pair of donor and acceptor lineages at the same evolutionary time. HGT-Gen is used with a sequence-generating program to evaluate the influence of HGT on the molecular phylogeny of prokaryotes in a computer simulation study. The database is available for free at http://www.grl.shizuoka.ac.jp/˜thoriike/HGT-Gen.html.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  18. In Silico Prediction of Horizontal Gene Transfer Events in Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus Reveals Protocooperation in Yogurt Manufacturing▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Mengjin; Siezen, Roland J.; Nauta, Arjen

    2009-01-01

    Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, used in yogurt starter cultures, are well known for their stability and protocooperation during their coexistence in milk. In this study, we show that a close interaction between the two species also takes place at the genetic level. We performed an in silico analysis, combining gene composition and gene transfer mechanism-associated features, and predicted horizontally transferred genes in both L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus. Putative horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events that have occurred between the two bacterial species include the transfer of exopolysaccharide (EPS) biosynthesis genes, transferred from S. thermophilus to L. bulgaricus, and the gene cluster cbs-cblB(cglB)-cysE for the metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids, transferred from L. bulgaricus or Lactobacillus helveticus to S. thermophilus. The HGT event for the cbs-cblB(cglB)-cysE gene cluster was analyzed in detail, with respect to both evolutionary and functional aspects. It can be concluded that during the coexistence of both yogurt starter species in a milk environment, agonistic coevolution at the genetic level has probably been involved in the optimization of their combined growth and interactions. PMID:19395564

  19. In silico prediction of horizontal gene transfer events in Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus reveals protocooperation in yogurt manufacturing.

    PubMed

    Liu, Mengjin; Siezen, Roland J; Nauta, Arjen

    2009-06-01

    Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, used in yogurt starter cultures, are well known for their stability and protocooperation during their coexistence in milk. In this study, we show that a close interaction between the two species also takes place at the genetic level. We performed an in silico analysis, combining gene composition and gene transfer mechanism-associated features, and predicted horizontally transferred genes in both L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus. Putative horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events that have occurred between the two bacterial species include the transfer of exopolysaccharide (EPS) biosynthesis genes, transferred from S. thermophilus to L. bulgaricus, and the gene cluster cbs-cblB(cglB)-cysE for the metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids, transferred from L. bulgaricus or Lactobacillus helveticus to S. thermophilus. The HGT event for the cbs-cblB(cglB)-cysE gene cluster was analyzed in detail, with respect to both evolutionary and functional aspects. It can be concluded that during the coexistence of both yogurt starter species in a milk environment, agonistic coevolution at the genetic level has probably been involved in the optimization of their combined growth and interactions.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Evolution of genes and organisms: the tree/web of life in light of horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Olendzenski, Lorraine; Gogarten, J Peter

    2009-10-01

    Gene exchange necessitates expanding the model of the tree of life, impacts the notion of organismal and molecular most recent common ancestors, and provides examples of natural selection working at multiple levels. Gene exchange, whether by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), hybridization of species, or symbiosis, modifies the organismal tree of life into a web. Darwin suggested the tree of life was like a coral, where living surface branches were supported by masses of dead branches. In phylogenetic trees, organismal or molecular lineages coalesce back to a lucky universal ancestor whose descendents are found in current lineages and which coexisted with other, now-extinct lineages. HGT complicates the reconstruction of a universal ancestor; genes in a genome can have different evolutionary histories, and even infrequent gene transfer will cause different molecular lineages to coalesce to molecular ancestors that existed in different organismal lineages and at different times. HGT, as well as symbiosis, provides a mechanism for integrating and expanding the organizational level on which natural selection acts, contributing to selection at the group and community level.

  2. Horizontal gene transfer of a bacterial insect toxin gene into the Epichloë fungal symbionts of grasses

    PubMed Central

    Ambrose, Karen V.; Koppenhöfer, Albrecht M.; Belanger, Faith C.

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is recognized as an important factor in genome evolution, particularly when the newly acquired gene confers a new capability to the recipient species. We identified a gene similar to the makes caterpillars floppy (mcf1 and mcf2) insect toxin genes in Photorhabdus, bacterial symbionts of nematodes, in the genomes of the Epichloë fungi, which are intercellular symbionts of grasses. Infection by Epichloë spp. often confers insect resistance to the grass hosts, largely due to the production of fungal alkaloids. A mcf-like gene is present in all of the Epichloë genome sequences currently available but in no other fungal genomes. This suggests the Epichloë genes were derived from a single lineage-specific HGT event. Molecular dating was used to estimate the time of the HGT event at between 7.2 and 58.8 million years ago. The mcf-like coding sequence from Epichloë typhina subsp. poae was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. E. coli cells expressing the Mcf protein were toxic to black cutworms (Agrotis ipsilon), whereas E. coli cells containing the vector only were non-toxic. These results suggest that the Epichloë mcf-like genes may be a component, in addition to the fungal alkaloids, of the insect resistance observed in Epichloë-infected grasses. PMID:24990771

  3. Horizontal gene transfer drives adaptive colonization of apple trees by the fungal pathogen Valsa mali

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Zhiyuan; Zhu, Baitao; Feng, Hao; Huang, Lili

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) often has strong benefits for fungi. In a study of samples from apple canker in Shaanxi Province, China, diverse microbes, along with the necrotrophic pathogen Valsa mali, were found to colonize the apple bark, thus providing ample opportunity for HGT to occur. In the present study, we identified 32 HGT events in V. mali by combining phyletic distribution-based methods with phylogenetic analyses. Most of these HGTs were from bacteria, whereas several others were from eukaryotes. Three HGTs putatively functioned in competition with actinomycetes, some of which showed a significant inhibitory effect on V. mali. Three HGTs that were probably involved in nitrogen uptake were also identified. Ten HGTs were thought to be involved in pathogenicity because they were related to known virulence factors, including cell wall-degrading enzymes and candidate effector proteins. HGT14, together with HGT32, was shown to contribute to bleomycin resistance of V. mali.These results suggest that HGT drives the adaptive evolution of V. mali. The HGTs identified here provide new clues for unveiling the adaptation mechanisms and virulence determinants of V. mali. PMID:27634406

  4. The role of horizontal gene transfer in photosynthesis, oxygen production, and oxygen tolerance.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Jason

    2009-01-01

    One of the pivotal events during the early evolution of life was the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis, responsible for producing essentially all of the free oxygen in Earth's atmosphere. This molecular innovation required the development of two tandemly linked photosystems that generate a redox potential strong enough to oxidize water and then funnel those electrons ultimately to cellular processes like carbon and nitrogen fixation. The by-product of this reaction, molecular oxygen, spawned an entirely new realm of enzymatic reactions that served to mitigate its potential toxicity, as well as to take advantage of the free energy available from using O(2) as an electron acceptor. These ensuing events ultimately gave rise to aerobic, multicelled eukaryotes and new levels of biological complexity. Remarkably, instances of horizontal gene transfer have been identified at nearly every step in this transformation of the biosphere, from the evolution and radiation of photosynthesis to the development of biological pathways dependent on oxygen. This chapter discusses the evidence and examples of some of these occurrences that have been elucidated in recent years.

  5. The role of horizontal gene transfer in kleptoplastidy and the establishment of photosynthesis in the eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Pillet, Loïc

    2013-01-01

    Found in different eukaryotic lineages, kleptoplastidy is the ability to sequester chloroplasts from algal preys that are ingested and partially digested. While most of the genetic information required for the activity and maintenance of the kleptoplastids disappeared with the digestion of the algal nuclei, the photosynthetic organelles remain active during extended period of time. Many different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the longevity of the kleptoplastids within their host. The most popular one involves Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) from the algal genome to the host nucleus. In order to test this hypothesis, transcriptome-based analyses have been performed on different kleptoplastidic organisms during the past few years. However, the variability of the results obtained does not allow drawing a convincing conclusion regarding the precise role of HGT in kleptoplastidy. Understanding the mechanism that allow persistence of the plastids is crucial, not only for the characterization of kleptoplastidy, but also for important evolutionary questions surrounding endosymbiotic events and the emergence and spread of photosynthesis in the eukaryotes. Here, I discuss alternative theories that could explain the longevity of sequestered plastids in their host, with special focus on the simplest chloroplast stability hypothesis. PMID:23914312

  6. 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

  7. Novel “Superspreader” Bacteriophages Promote Horizontal Gene Transfer by Transformation

    PubMed Central

    Bliskovsky, Valery V.; Malagon, Francisco; Baker, James D.; Prince, Jeffrey S.; Klaus, James S.; Adhya, Sankar L.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacteriophages infect an estimated 1023 to 1025 bacterial cells each second, many of which carry physiologically relevant plasmids (e.g., those encoding antibiotic resistance). However, even though phage-plasmid interactions occur on a massive scale and have potentially significant evolutionary, ecological, and biomedical implications, plasmid fate upon phage infection and lysis has not been investigated to date. Here we show that a subset of the natural lytic phage population, which we dub “superspreaders,” releases substantial amounts of intact, transformable plasmid DNA upon lysis, thereby promoting horizontal gene transfer by transformation. Two novel Escherichia coli phage superspreaders, SUSP1 and SUSP2, liberated four evolutionarily distinct plasmids with equal efficiency, including two close relatives of prominent antibiotic resistance vectors in natural environments. SUSP2 also mediated the extensive lateral transfer of antibiotic resistance in unbiased communities of soil bacteria from Maryland and Wyoming. Furthermore, the addition of SUSP2 to cocultures of kanamycin-resistant E. coli and kanamycin-sensitive Bacillus sp. bacteria resulted in roughly 1,000-fold more kanamycin-resistant Bacillus sp. bacteria than arose in phage-free controls. Unlike many other lytic phages, neither SUSP1 nor SUSP2 encodes homologs to known hydrolytic endonucleases, suggesting a simple potential mechanism underlying the superspreading phenotype. Consistent with this model, the deletion of endonuclease IV and the nucleoid-disrupting protein ndd from coliphage T4, a phage known to extensively degrade chromosomal DNA, significantly increased its ability to promote plasmid transformation. Taken together, our results suggest that phage superspreaders may play key roles in microbial evolution and ecology but should be avoided in phage therapy and other medical applications. PMID:28096488

  8. Role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of plant parasitism among nematodes.

    PubMed

    Mitreva, Makedonka; Smant, Geert; Helder, Johannes

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) implies the non-sexual exchange of genetic material between species - in some cases even across kingdoms. Although common among Bacteria and Archaea, HGTs from pro- to eukaryotes and between eukaryotes were thought to be extremely rare. Recent studies on intracellular bacteria and their hosts seriously question this view. Recipient organisms could benefit from HGT as new gene packages could allow them to broaden or change their diet, colonize new habitats, or survive conditions that previously would have been lethal.About a decade ago, plant parasitic nematodes were shown to produce and secrete cellulases. Prior to this, animals were thought to fully depend on microbial symbionts for the breakdown of plant cell walls. This discovery prompted Keen and Roberts (1) to hypothesize that the ability of nematodes to parasitize plants was acquired by HGT from soil bacteria to (ancestral) bacterivorous nematodes. Since the identification of the first nematode cellulases, many more plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (CWDE) have been identified in a range of plant parasitic nematode species.Here we discuss a number of criteria that can be used to underpin an HGT claim. HGT requires close physical contact between donor and recipient, and this could be achieved in, for example, a symbiont-host, or a trophic relationship. The former type of relationship was indeed shown to potentially result in the transfer of genetic material (e.g., Brugia malayi and Wolbachia). However, currently known endosymbionts of nematodes may not be the source of CWDEs. Remarkably, all cellulases discovered so far within the order Tylenchida belong to a single glycoside hydrolase family (GHF5). A range of soil bacteria harbours GHF5 cellulases, but of course nothing can be said about the gene content of soil bacteria at the time HGT took place (if at all). We suggest that characterisation of cellulases (and other CWDEs) and their genomic organisation in more basal

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Evidence of recent interspecies horizontal gene transfer regarding nucleopolyhedrovirus infection of Spodoptera frugiperda.

    PubMed

    Barrera, Gloria Patricia; Belaich, Mariano Nicolás; Patarroyo, Manuel Alfonso; Villamizar, Laura Fernanda; Ghiringhelli, Pablo Daniel

    2015-11-25

    Baculoviruses are insect-associated viruses carrying large, circular double-stranded-DNA genomes with significant biotechnological applications such as biological pest control, recombinant protein production, gene delivery in mammals and as a model of DNA genome evolution. These pathogens infect insects from the orders Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and Diptera, and have high species diversity which is expressed in their diverse biological properties including morphology, virulence or pathogenicity. Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), the fall armyworm, represents a significant pest for agriculture in America; it is a host for baculoviruses such as the Spodoptera frugiperda multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SfMNPV) (Colombia strain, genotype A) having been classified as a Group II alphabaculovirus making it a very attractive target for bioinsecticidal use. Genome analysis by pyrosequencing revealed that SfMNPV ColA has 145 ORFs, 2 of which were not present in the other sequenced genotypes of the virus (SfMNPV-NicB, SfMNPV-NicG, SfMNPV-19 and SfMNPV-3AP2). An in-depth bioinformatics study showed that ORF023 and ORF024 were acquired by a recent homologous recombination process between Spodoptera frugiperda and Spodoptera litura (the Oriental leafworm moth) nucleopolyhedroviruses. Auxiliary genes are numerous in the affected locus which has a homologous region (hr3), a repetitive sequence associated with genome replication which became lost in SfColA along with 1 ORF. Besides, the mRNAs associated with two acquired genes appeared in the virus' life-cycle during the larval stage. Predictive studies concerning the theoretical proteins identified that ORF023 protein would be a phosphatase involved in DNA repair and that the ORF024 protein would be a membrane polypeptide associated with cell transport. The SfColA genome was thus revealed to be a natural recombinant virus showing evidence of recent horizontal gene transfer between different baculovirus species occurring

  12. Variation in the Genetic Repertoire of Viruses Infecting Micromonas pusilla Reflects Horizontal Gene Transfer and Links to Their Environmental Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Finke, Jan F.; Winget, Danielle M.; Chan, Amy M.; Suttle, Curtis A.

    2017-01-01

    Prasinophytes, a group of eukaryotic phytoplankton, has a global distribution and is infected by large double-stranded DNA viruses (prasinoviruses) in the family Phycodnaviridae. This study examines the genetic repertoire, phylogeny, and environmental distribution of phycodnaviruses infecting Micromonas pusilla, other prasinophytes and chlorophytes. Based on comparisons among the genomes of viruses infecting M. pusilla and other phycodnaviruses, as well as the genome from a host isolate of M. pusilla, viruses infecting M. pusilla (MpVs) share a limited set of core genes, but vary strongly in their flexible pan-genome that includes numerous metabolic genes, such as those associated with amino acid synthesis and sugar manipulation. Surprisingly, few of these presumably host-derived genes are shared with M. pusilla, but rather have their closest non-viral homologue in bacteria and other eukaryotes, indicating horizontal gene transfer. A comparative analysis of full-length DNA polymerase (DNApol) genes from prasinoviruses with their overall gene content, demonstrated that the phylogeny of DNApol gene fragments reflects the gene content of the viruses; hence, environmental DNApol gene sequences from prasinoviruses can be used to infer their overall genetic repertoire. Thus, the distribution of virus ecotypes across environmental samples based on DNApol sequences implies substantial underlying differences in gene content that reflect local environmental conditions. Moreover, the high diversity observed in the genetic repertoire of prasinoviruses has been driven by horizontal gene transfer throughout their evolutionary history, resulting in a broad suite of functional capabilities and a high diversity of prasinovirus ecotypes. PMID:28534829

  13. Variation in the Genetic Repertoire of Viruses Infecting Micromonas pusilla Reflects Horizontal Gene Transfer and Links to Their Environmental Distribution.

    PubMed

    Finke, Jan F; Winget, Danielle M; Chan, Amy M; Suttle, Curtis A

    2017-05-19

    Prasinophytes, a group of eukaryotic phytoplankton, has a global distribution and is infected by large double-stranded DNA viruses (prasinoviruses) in the family Phycodnaviridae. This study examines the genetic repertoire, phylogeny, and environmental distribution of phycodnaviruses infecting Micromonas pusilla, other prasinophytes and chlorophytes. Based on comparisons among the genomes of viruses infecting M. pusilla and other phycodnaviruses, as well as the genome from a host isolate of M. pusilla, viruses infecting M. pusilla (MpVs) share a limited set of core genes, but vary strongly in their flexible pan-genome that includes numerous metabolic genes, such as those associated with amino acid synthesis and sugar manipulation. Surprisingly, few of these presumably host-derived genes are shared with M. pusilla, but rather have their closest non-viral homologue in bacteria and other eukaryotes, indicating horizontal gene transfer. A comparative analysis of full-length DNA polymerase (DNApol) genes from prasinoviruses with their overall gene content, demonstrated that the phylogeny of DNApol gene fragments reflects the gene content of the viruses; hence, environmental DNApol gene sequences from prasinoviruses can be used to infer their overall genetic repertoire. Thus, the distribution of virus ecotypes across environmental samples based on DNApol sequences implies substantial underlying differences in gene content that reflect local environmental conditions. Moreover, the high diversity observed in the genetic repertoire of prasinoviruses has been driven by horizontal gene transfer throughout their evolutionary history, resulting in a broad suite of functional capabilities and a high diversity of prasinovirus ecotypes.

  14. Horizontal transfer of PAH catabolism genes in Mycobacterium: evidence from comparative genomics and isolated pyrene-degrading bacteria.

    PubMed

    DeBruyn, Jennifer M; Mead, Thomas J; Sayler, Gary S

    2012-01-03

    Biodegradation of high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as pyrene and benzo[a]pyrene, has only been observed in a few genera, namely fast-growing Mycobacterium and Rhodococcus. In M. vanbaalenii PYR-1, multiple aromatic ring hydroxylating dioxygenase (ARHDOs) genes including pyrene dioxygenases nidAB and nidA3B3 are localized in one genomic region. Here we examine the homologous genomic regions in four other PAH-degrading Mycobacterium (strains JLS, KMS, and MCS, and M. gilvum PYR-GCK), presenting evidence for past horizontal gene transfer events. Seven distinct types of ARHDO genes are present in all five genomes, and display conserved syntenic architecture with respect to gene order, orientation, and association with other genes. Duplications and putative integrase and transposase genes suggest past gene shuffling. To corroborate these observations, pyrene-degrading strains were isolated from two PAH-contaminated sediments: Chattanooga Creek (Tennessee) and Lake Erie (western basin). Some were related to fast-growing Mycobacterium spp. and carried both nidA and nidA3 genes. Other isolates belonged to Microbacteriaceae and Intrasporangiaceae presenting the first evidence of pyrene degradation in these families. These isolates had nidA (and some, nidA3) genes that were homologous to Mycobacterial ARHDO genes, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer events have occurred.

  15. Phylogenetic diversity of Pasteurellaceae and horizontal gene transfer of leukotoxin in wild and domestic sheep.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Scott T; Cassirer, E Frances; Weiser, Glen C; Safaee, Shirin

    2007-01-01

    Wild and domestic animal populations are known to be sources and reservoirs of emerging diseases. There is also a growing recognition that horizontal genetic transfer (HGT) plays an important role in bacterial pathogenesis. We used molecular phylogenetic methods to assess diversity and cross-transmission rates of Pasteurellaceae bacteria in populations of bighorn sheep, Dall's sheep, domestic sheep and domestic goats. Members of the Pasteurellaceae cause an array of deadly illnesses including bacterial pneumonia known as "pasteurellosis", a particularly devastating disease for bighorn sheep. A phylogenetic analysis of a combined dataset of two RNA genes (16S ribosomal RNA and RNAse P RNA) revealed remarkable evolutionary diversity among Pasteurella trehalosi and Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica bacteria isolated from sheep and goats. Several phylotypes appeared to associate with particular host species, though we found numerous instances of apparent cross-transmission among species and populations. Statistical analyses revealed that host species, geographic locale and biovariant classification, but not virulence, correlated strongly with Pasteurellaceae phylogeny. Sheep host species correlated with P. trehalosi isolates phylogeny (PTP test; P=0.002), but not with the phylogeny of M. haemolytica isolates, suggesting that P. trehalosi bacteria may be more host specific. With regards to populations within species, we also discovered a strong correlation between geographic locale and isolate phylogeny in the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (PTP test; P=0.001). We also investigated the potential for HGT of the leukotoxin A (lktA) gene, which produces a toxin that plays an integral role in causing disease. Comparative analysis of the combined RNA gene phylogeny and the lktA phylogenies revealed considerable incongruence between the phylogenies, suggestive of HGT. Furthermore, we found identical lktA alleles in unrelated bacterial species, some of which had been isolated

  16. FISH labeling reveals a horizontally transferred algal (Vaucheria litorea) nuclear gene on a sea slug (Elysia chlorotica) chromosome.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Julie A; Curtis, Nicholas E; Pierce, Sidney K

    2014-12-01

    The horizontal transfer of functional nuclear genes, coding for both chloroplast proteins and chlorophyll synthesis, from the food alga Vaucheria litorea to the sea slug Elysia chlorotica has been demonstrated by pharmacological, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real time PCR (qRT-PCR), and transcriptome sequencing experiments. However, partial genomic sequencing of E. chlorotica larvae failed to find evidence for gene transfer. Here, we have used fluorescent in situ hybridization to localize an algal nuclear gene, prk, found in both larval and adult slug DNA by PCR and in adult RNA by transcriptome sequencing and RT-PCR. The prk probe hybridized with a metaphase chromosome in slug larvae, confirming gene transfer between alga and slug. © 2014 Marine Biological Laboratory.

  17. 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. PMID:27630622

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Genome-Wide Survey of Gut Fungi (Harpellales) Reveals the First Horizontally Transferred Ubiquitin Gene from a Mosquito Host

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yan; White, Merlin M.; Kvist, Sebastian; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc

    2016-01-01

    Harpellales, an early-diverging fungal lineage, is associated with the digestive tracts of aquatic arthropod hosts. Concurrent with the production and annotation of the first four Harpellales genomes, we discovered that Zancudomyces culisetae, one of the most widely distributed Harpellales species, encodes an insect-like polyubiquitin chain. Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins are universally involved in protein degradation and regulation of immune response in eukaryotic organisms. Phylogenetic analyses inferred that this polyubiquitin variant has a mosquito origin. In addition, its amino acid composition, animal-like secondary structure, as well as the fungal nature of flanking genes all further support this as a horizontal gene transfer event. The single-copy polyubiquitin gene from Z. culisetae has lower GC ratio compared with homologs of insect taxa, which implies homogenization of the gene since its putatively ancient transfer. The acquired polyubiquitin gene may have served to improve important functions within Z. culisetae, by perhaps exploiting the insect hosts’ ubiquitin-proteasome systems in the gut environment. Preliminary comparisons among the four Harpellales genomes highlight the reduced genome size of Z. culisetae, which corroborates its distinguishable symbiotic lifestyle. This is the first record of a horizontally transferred ubiquitin gene from disease-bearing insects to the gut-dwelling fungal endobiont and should invite further exploration in an evolutionary context. PMID:27343289

  1. 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.

  2. Horizontal gene transfer and antibiotic resistance plasmids in multi-drug resistant Salmonella enterica serovars

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Antibiotic resistant foodborne pathogens pose serious public health concerns and increase the burden of disease treatment. Antibiotic resistance genes can reside on the bacterial chromosome or on other self-replicating DNA molecules such as plasmids. The resistance genes/DNA can be transferred int...

  3. 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

  4. Updated clusters of orthologous genes for Archaea: a complex ancestor of the Archaea and the byways of horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Collections of Clusters of Orthologous Genes (COGs) provide indispensable tools for comparative genomic analysis, evolutionary reconstruction and functional annotation of new genomes. Initially, COGs were made for all complete genomes of cellular life forms that were available at the time. However, with the accumulation of thousands of complete genomes, construction of a comprehensive COG set has become extremely computationally demanding and prone to error propagation, necessitating the switch to taxon-specific COG collections. Previously, we reported the collection of COGs for 41 genomes of Archaea (arCOGs). Here we present a major update of the arCOGs and describe evolutionary reconstructions to reveal general trends in the evolution of Archaea. Results The updated version of the arCOG database incorporates 91% of the pangenome of 120 archaea (251,032 protein-coding genes altogether) into 10,335 arCOGs. Using this new set of arCOGs, we performed maximum likelihood reconstruction of the genome content of archaeal ancestral forms and gene gain and loss events in archaeal evolution. This reconstruction shows that the last Common Ancestor of the extant Archaea was an organism of greater complexity than most of the extant archaea, probably with over 2,500 protein-coding genes. The subsequent evolution of almost all archaeal lineages was apparently dominated by gene loss resulting in genome streamlining. Overall, in the evolution of Archaea as well as a representative set of bacteria that was similarly analyzed for comparison, gene losses are estimated to outnumber gene gains at least 4 to 1. Analysis of specific patterns of gene gain in Archaea shows that, although some groups, in particular Halobacteria, acquire substantially more genes than others, on the whole, gene exchange between major groups of Archaea appears to be largely random, with no major ‘highways’ of horizontal gene transfer. Conclusions The updated collection of arCOGs is expected to

  5. Parallel Histories of Horizontal Gene Transfer Facilitated Extreme Reduction of Endosymbiont Genomes in Sap-Feeding Insects

    PubMed Central

    Sloan, Daniel B.; Nakabachi, Atsushi; Richards, Stephen; Qu, Jiaxin; Murali, Shwetha Canchi; Gibbs, Richard A.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria confined to intracellular environments experience extensive genome reduction. In extreme cases, insect endosymbionts have evolved genomes that are so gene-poor that they blur the distinction between bacteria and endosymbiotically derived organelles such as mitochondria and plastids. To understand the host’s role in this extreme gene loss, we analyzed gene content and expression in the nuclear genome of the psyllid Pachypsylla venusta, a sap-feeding insect that harbors an ancient endosymbiont (Carsonella) with one of the most reduced bacterial genomes ever identified. Carsonella retains many genes required for synthesis of essential amino acids that are scarce in plant sap, but most of these biosynthetic pathways have been disrupted by gene loss. Host genes that are upregulated in psyllid cells housing Carsonella appear to compensate for endosymbiont gene losses, resulting in highly integrated metabolic pathways that mirror those observed in other sap-feeding insects. The host contribution to these pathways is mediated by a combination of native eukaryotic genes and bacterial genes that were horizontally transferred from multiple donor lineages early in the evolution of psyllids, including one gene that appears to have been directly acquired from Carsonella. By comparing the psyllid genome to a recent analysis of mealybugs, we found that a remarkably similar set of functional pathways have been shaped by independent transfers of bacterial genes to the two hosts. These results show that horizontal gene transfer is an important and recurring mechanism driving coevolution between insects and their bacterial endosymbionts and highlight interesting similarities and contrasts with the evolutionary history of mitochondria and plastids. PMID:24398322

  6. Parallel histories of horizontal gene transfer facilitated extreme reduction of endosymbiont genomes in sap-feeding insects.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Daniel B; Nakabachi, Atsushi; Richards, Stephen; Qu, Jiaxin; Murali, Shwetha Canchi; Gibbs, Richard A; Moran, Nancy A

    2014-04-01

    Bacteria confined to intracellular environments experience extensive genome reduction. In extreme cases, insect endosymbionts have evolved genomes that are so gene-poor that they blur the distinction between bacteria and endosymbiotically derived organelles such as mitochondria and plastids. To understand the host's role in this extreme gene loss, we analyzed gene content and expression in the nuclear genome of the psyllid Pachypsylla venusta, a sap-feeding insect that harbors an ancient endosymbiont (Carsonella) with one of the most reduced bacterial genomes ever identified. Carsonella retains many genes required for synthesis of essential amino acids that are scarce in plant sap, but most of these biosynthetic pathways have been disrupted by gene loss. Host genes that are upregulated in psyllid cells housing Carsonella appear to compensate for endosymbiont gene losses, resulting in highly integrated metabolic pathways that mirror those observed in other sap-feeding insects. The host contribution to these pathways is mediated by a combination of native eukaryotic genes and bacterial genes that were horizontally transferred from multiple donor lineages early in the evolution of psyllids, including one gene that appears to have been directly acquired from Carsonella. By comparing the psyllid genome to a recent analysis of mealybugs, we found that a remarkably similar set of functional pathways have been shaped by independent transfers of bacterial genes to the two hosts. These results show that horizontal gene transfer is an important and recurring mechanism driving coevolution between insects and their bacterial endosymbionts and highlight interesting similarities and contrasts with the evolutionary history of mitochondria and plastids.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  8. Chemoreceptor Gene Loss and Acquisition via Horizontal Gene Transfer in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Borziak, Kirill; Fleetwood, Aaron D.

    2013-01-01

    Chemotaxis allows bacteria to more efficiently colonize optimal microhabitats within their larger environment. Chemotaxis in Escherichia coli is the best-studied model system, and a large number of E. coli strains have been sequenced. The Escherichia/Shigella genus encompasses a great variety of commensal and pathogenic strains, but the role of chemotaxis in their association with the host remains poorly understood. Here we show that the core chemotaxis genes are lost in many, but not all, nonmotile strains but are well preserved in all motile strains. The genes encoding the Tar, Tsr, and Aer chemoreceptors, which mediate chemotaxis to a broad spectrum of chemical and physical cues, are also nearly uniformly conserved in motile strains. In contrast, the clade of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli strains apparently underwent an ancestral loss of Trg and Tap chemoreceptors, which sense sugars, dipeptides, and pyrimidines. The broad range of time estimated for the loss of these genes (1 to 3 million years ago) corresponds to the appearance of the genus Homo. PMID:23749975

  9. Pangenome evidence for extensive interdomain horizontal transfer affecting lineage core and shell genes in uncultured planktonic thaumarchaeota and euryarchaeota.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-12

    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.

  10. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Kishore, Sandeep P; Stiller, John W; Deitsch, Kirk W

    2013-02-11

    The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in the evolution to parasitism in

  11. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. Results In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Conclusions Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in

  12. Frequency of horizontal gene transfer of a large catabolic plasmid (pJP4) in soil.

    PubMed

    Neilson, J W; Josephson, K L; Pepper, I L; Arnold, R B; Di Giovanni, G D; Sinclair, N A

    1994-11-01

    Limited work has been done to assess the bioremediation potential of transfer of plasmid-borne degradative genes from introduced to indigenous organisms in the environment. Here we demonstrate the transfer by conjugation of the catabolic plasmid pJP4, using a model system with donor and recipient organisms. The donor organism was Alcaligenes eutrophus JMP134 and the recipient organism was Variovorax paradoxus isolated from a toxic waste site. Plasmid pJP4 contains genes for mercury resistance and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic (2,4-D) acid degradation. A transfer frequency of approximately 1/10(3) donor and recipient cells (parent cells) was observed on solid agar media, decreasing to 1/10(5) parent cells in sterile soil and finally 1/10(6) parent cells in 2,4-D-amended, nonsterile soil. Presumptive transconjugants were confirmed to be resistant to Hg, to be capable of degrading 2,4-D, and to contain a plasmid of size comparable to that of pJP4. In addition, we confirmed the transfer through PCR amplifications of the tfdB gene. Although transfer of pJP4 did occur at a high frequency in pure culture, the rate was significantly decreased by the introduction of abiotic (sterile soil) and biotic (nonsterile soil) stresses. An evaluation of the data from this model system implies that the reliance on plasmid transfer from a donor organism as a remediative strategy has limited potential.

  13. Loss of two introns from the Magnolia tripetala mitochondrial cox2 gene implicates horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

    PubMed

    Hepburn, Nancy J; Schmidt, Derek W; Mower, Jeffrey P

    2012-10-01

    Intron loss is often thought to occur through retroprocessing, which is the reverse transcription and genomic integration of a spliced transcript. In plant mitochondria, several unambiguous examples of retroprocessing are supported by the parallel loss of an intron and numerous adjacent RNA edit sites, but in most cases, the evidence for intron loss via retroprocessing is weak or lacking entirely. To evaluate mechanisms of intron loss, we designed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay to detect recent intron losses from the mitochondrial cox2 gene within genus Magnolia, which was previously suggested to have variability in cox2 intron content. Our assay showed that all 22 examined species have a cox2 gene with two introns. However, one species, Magnolia tripetala, contains an additional cox2 gene that lacks both introns. Quantitative PCR showed that both M. tripetala cox2 genes are present in the mitochondrial genome. Although the intronless gene has lost several ancestral RNA edit sites, their distribution is inconsistent with retroprocessing models. Instead, phylogenetic and gene conversion analyses indicate that the intronless gene was horizontally acquired from a eudicot and then underwent gene conversion with the native intron-containing gene. The models are presented to summarize the roles of horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

  14. Phylogeny of chitinases and its implications for estimating horizontal gene transfer from chitinase-transgenic silver birch (Betula pendula).

    PubMed

    Lohtander, Katileena; Pasonen, Hanna-Leena; Aalto, Markku K; Palva, Tapio; Pappinen, Ari; Rikkinen, Jouko

    2008-01-01

    Chitinases are hydrolytic enzymes that have been employed in biotechnology in attempts to increase plants' resistance against fungal pathogens. Genetically modified plants have given rise to concerns of the spreading of transgenes into the environment through vertical or horizontal gene transfer (HGT). In this study, chitinase-like sequences from silver birch (Betula pendula) EST-libraries were identified and their phylogenetic relationships to other chitinases were studied. Phylogenetic analyses were used to estimate the frequency of historical gene transfer events of chitinase genes between plants and other organisms, and the usefulness of phylogenetic analyses as a source of information for the risk assessment of transgenic silver birch carrying a sugar beet chitinase IV gene was evaluated. Thirteen partial chitinase-like sequences, with an approximate length of 600 bp, were obtained from the EST-libraries. The sequences belonged to five chitinase classes. Some bacterial chitinases from Streptomyces and Burkholderia, as well as a chitinase from an oomycete, Phytophthora infestans, grouped together with the class IV chitinases of plants, supporting the hypothesis that some class IV chitinases in bacteria have evolved from eukaryotic chitinases via horizontal gene transfer. According to our analyses, HGT of a chitinase IV gene from eukaryotes to bacteria has presumably occurred only once. Based on this, the likelihood for the HGT of chitinase IV gene from transgenic birch to other organisms is extremely low. However, as risk is a function of both the likelihood and consequences of an event, the effects of rare HGT event(s) will finally determine the level of the risk.

  15. Evidence of recent interkingdom horizontal gene transfer between bacteria and Candida parapsilosis

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background To date very few incidences of interdomain gene transfer into fungi have been identified. Here, we used the emerging genome sequences of Candida albicans WO-1, Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis, Clavispora lusitaniae, Pichia guilliermondii, and Lodderomyces elongisporus to identify recent interdomain HGT events. We refer to these as CTG species because they translate the CTG codon as serine rather than leucine, and share a recent common ancestor. Results Phylogenetic and syntenic information infer that two C. parapsilosis genes originate from bacterial sources. One encodes a putative proline racemase (PR). Phylogenetic analysis also infers that there were independent transfers of bacterial PR enzymes into members of the Pezizomycotina, and protists. The second HGT gene in C. parapsilosis belongs to the phenazine F (PhzF) superfamily. Most CTG species also contain a fungal PhzF homolog. Our phylogeny suggests that the CTG homolog originated from an ancient HGT event, from a member of the proteobacteria. An analysis of synteny suggests that C. parapsilosis has lost the endogenous fungal form of PhzF, and subsequently reacquired it from a proteobacterial source. There is evidence that Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Basidiomycotina also obtained a PhzF homolog through HGT. Conclusion Our search revealed two instances of well-supported HGT from bacteria into the CTG clade, both specific to C. parapsilosis. Therefore, while recent interkingdom gene transfer has taken place in the CTG lineage, its occurrence is rare. However, our analysis will not detect ancient gene transfers, and we may have underestimated the global extent of HGT into CTG species. PMID:18577206

  16. 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

  17. The ancestor of modern Holozoa acquired the CCA-adding enzyme from Alphaproteobacteria by horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Betat, Heike; Mede, Tobias; Tretbar, Sandy; Steiner, Lydia; Stadler, Peter F; Mörl, Mario; Prohaska, Sonja J

    2015-08-18

    Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) require the absolutely conserved sequence motif CCA at their 3'-ends, representing the site of aminoacylation. In the majority of organisms, this trinucleotide sequence is not encoded in the genome and thus has to be added post-transcriptionally by the CCA-adding enzyme, a specialized nucleotidyltransferase. In eukaryotic genomes this ubiquitous and highly conserved enzyme family is usually represented by a single gene copy. Analysis of published sequence data allows us to pin down the unusual evolution of eukaryotic CCA-adding enzymes. We show that the CCA-adding enzymes of animals originated from a horizontal gene transfer event in the stem lineage of Holozoa, i.e. Metazoa (animals) and their unicellular relatives, the Choanozoa. The tRNA nucleotidyltransferase, acquired from an α-proteobacterium, replaced the ancestral enzyme in Metazoa. However, in Choanoflagellata, the group of Choanozoa that is closest to Metazoa, both the ancestral and the horizontally transferred CCA-adding enzymes have survived. Furthermore, our data refute a mitochondrial origin of the animal tRNA nucleotidyltransferases.

  18. The ancestor of modern Holozoa acquired the CCA-adding enzyme from Alphaproteobacteria by horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Betat, Heike; Mede, Tobias; Tretbar, Sandy; Steiner, Lydia; Stadler, Peter F.; Mörl, Mario; Prohaska, Sonja J.

    2015-01-01

    Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) require the absolutely conserved sequence motif CCA at their 3′-ends, representing the site of aminoacylation. In the majority of organisms, this trinucleotide sequence is not encoded in the genome and thus has to be added post-transcriptionally by the CCA-adding enzyme, a specialized nucleotidyltransferase. In eukaryotic genomes this ubiquitous and highly conserved enzyme family is usually represented by a single gene copy. Analysis of published sequence data allows us to pin down the unusual evolution of eukaryotic CCA-adding enzymes. We show that the CCA-adding enzymes of animals originated from a horizontal gene transfer event in the stem lineage of Holozoa, i.e. Metazoa (animals) and their unicellular relatives, the Choanozoa. The tRNA nucleotidyltransferase, acquired from an α-proteobacterium, replaced the ancestral enzyme in Metazoa. However, in Choanoflagellata, the group of Choanozoa that is closest to Metazoa, both the ancestral and the horizontally transferred CCA-adding enzymes have survived. Furthermore, our data refute a mitochondrial origin of the animal tRNA nucleotidyltransferases. PMID:26117543

  19. A sensitive, support-vector-machine method for the detection of horizontal gene transfers in viral, archaeal and bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Tsirigos, Aristotelis; Rigoutsos, Isidore

    2005-01-01

    In earlier work, we introduced and discussed a generalized computational framework for identifying horizontal transfers. This framework relied on a gene's nucleotide composition, obviated the need for knowledge of codon boundaries and database searches, and was shown to perform very well across a wide range of archaeal and bacterial genomes when compared with previously published approaches, such as Codon Adaptation Index and C + G content. Nonetheless, two considerations remained outstanding: we wanted to further increase the sensitivity of detecting horizontal transfers and also to be able to apply the method to increasingly smaller genomes. In the discussion that follows, we present such a method, Wn-SVM, and show that it exhibits a very significant improvement in sensitivity compared with earlier approaches. Wn-SVM uses a one-class support-vector machine and can learn using rather small training sets. This property makes Wn-SVM particularly suitable for studying small-size genomes, similar to those of viruses, as well as the typically larger archaeal and bacterial genomes. We show experimentally that the new method results in a superior performance across a wide range of organisms and that it improves even upon our own earlier method by an average of 10% across all examined genomes. As a small-genome case study, we analyze the genome of the human cytomegalovirus and demonstrate that Wn-SVM correctly identifies regions that are known to be conserved and prototypical of all beta-herpesvirinae, regions that are known to have been acquired horizontally from the human host and, finally, regions that had not up to now been suspected to be horizontally transferred. Atypical region predictions for many eukaryotic viruses, including the alpha-, beta- and gamma-herpesvirinae, and 123 archaeal and bacterial genomes, have been made available online at http://cbcsrv.watson.ibm.com/HGT_SVM/.

  20. Subinhibitory Concentrations of Disinfectants Promote the Horizontal Transfer of Multidrug Resistance Genes within and across Genera.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ye; Gu, April Z; He, Miao; Li, Dan; Chen, Jianmin

    2017-01-03

    The greater abundances of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in point-of-use tap and reclaimed water than that in freshly treated water raise the question whether residual disinfectants in distribution systems facilitate the spread of ARGs. This study investigated three widely used disinfectants (free chlorine, chloramine, and hydrogen peroxide) on promoting ARGs transfer within Escherichia coli strains and across genera from Escherichia coli to Salmonella typhimurium. The results demonstrated that subinhibitory concentrations (lower than minimum inhibitory concentrations [MICs]) of these disinfectants, namely 0.1-1 mg/L Cl2 for free chlorine, 0.1-1 mg/L Cl2 for chloramine, and 0.24-3 mg/L H2O2, led to concentration-dependent increases in intragenera conjugative transfer by 3.4-6.4, 1.9-7.5, and 1.4-5.4 folds compared with controls, respectively. By comparison, the intergenera conjugative frequencies were slightly increased by approximately 1.4-2.3 folds compared with controls. However, exposure to disinfectants concentrations higher than MICs significantly suppressed conjugative transfer. This study provided evidence and insights into possible underlying mechanisms for enhanced conjugative transfer, which involved intracellular reactive oxygen species formation, SOS response, increased cell membrane permeability, and altered expressions of conjugation-relevant genes. The results suggest that certain oxidative chemicals, such as disinfectants, accelerate ARGs transfer and therefore justify motivations in evaluating disinfection alternatives for controlling antibiotic resistance. This study also triggers questions regarding the potential role of environmental chemicals in the global spread of antibiotic resistance.

  1. Horizontal gene transfer in bdelloid rotifers is ancient, ongoing and more frequent in species from desiccating habitats.

    PubMed

    Eyres, Isobel; Boschetti, Chiara; Crisp, Alastair; Smith, Thomas P; Fontaneto, Diego; Tunnacliffe, Alan; Barraclough, Timothy G

    2015-11-04

    Although prevalent in prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is rarer in multicellular eukaryotes. Bdelloid rotifers are microscopic animals that contain a higher proportion of horizontally transferred, non-metazoan genes in their genomes than typical of animals. It has been hypothesized that bdelloids incorporate foreign DNA when they repair their chromosomes following double-strand breaks caused by desiccation. HGT might thereby contribute to species divergence and adaptation, as in prokaryotes. If so, we expect that species should differ in their complement of foreign genes, rather than sharing the same set of foreign genes inherited from a common ancestor. Furthermore, there should be more foreign genes in species that desiccate more frequently. We tested these hypotheses by surveying HGT in four congeneric species of bdelloids from different habitats: two from permanent aquatic habitats and two from temporary aquatic habitats that desiccate regularly. Transcriptomes of all four species contain many genes with a closer match to non-metazoan genes than to metazoan genes. Whole genome sequencing of one species confirmed the presence of these foreign genes in the genome. Nearly half of foreign genes are shared between all four species and an outgroup from another family, but many hundreds are unique to particular species, which indicates that HGT is ongoing. Using a dated phylogeny, we estimate an average of 12.8 gains versus 2.0 losses of foreign genes per million years. Consistent with the desiccation hypothesis, the level of HGT is higher in the species that experience regular desiccation events than those that do not. However, HGT still contributed hundreds of foreign genes to the species from permanently aquatic habitats. Foreign genes were mainly enzymes with various annotated functions that include catabolism of complex polysaccharides and stress responses. We found evidence of differential loss of ancestral foreign genes previously associated with

  2. Widespread Inter- and Intra-Domain Horizontal Gene Transfer of d-Amino Acid Metabolism Enzymes in Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Naranjo-Ortíz, Miguel A.; Brock, Matthias; Brunke, Sascha; Hube, Bernhard; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Gabaldón, Toni

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of the growing number of available fully-sequenced genomes has shown that Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) in eukaryotes is more common than previously thought. It has been proposed that genes with certain functions may be more prone to HGT than others, but we still have a very poor understanding of the selective forces driving eukaryotic HGT. Recent work uncovered that d-amino acid racemases have been commonly transferred from bacteria to fungi, but their role in the receiving organisms is currently unknown. Here, we set out to assess whether d-amino acid racemases are commonly transferred to and between eukaryotic groups. For this we performed a global survey that used a novel automated phylogeny-based HGT-detection algorithm (Abaccus). Our results revealed that at least 7.0% of the total eukaryotic racemase repertoire is the result of inter- or intra-domain HGT. These transfers are significantly enriched in plant-associated fungi. For these, we hypothesize a possible role for the acquired racemases allowing to exploit minoritary nitrogen sources in plant biomass, a nitrogen-poor environment. Finally, we performed experiments on a transferred aspartate-glutamate racemase in the fungal human pathogen Candida glabrata, which however revealed no obvious biological role. PMID:28066338

  3. 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

  4. Horizontal Gene Transfer from Macrophages to Ischemic Muscles upon Delivery of Naked DNA with Pluronic Block Copolymers

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Widespread horizontal transfer of the cerato-ulmin gene between Ophiostoma novo-ulmi and Geosmithia species.

    PubMed

    Bettini, Priscilla P; Frascella, Arcangela; Kolařík, Miroslav; Comparini, Cecilia; Pepori, Alessia L; Santini, Alberto; Scala, Felice; Scala, Aniello

    2014-08-01

    Previous work had shown that a sequence homologous to the gene encoding class II hydrophobin cerato-ulmin from the fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, the causal agent of Dutch Elm Disease (DED), was present in a strain of the unrelated species Geosmithia species 5 (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) isolated from Ulmus minor affected by DED. As both fungi occupy the same habitat, even if different ecological niches, the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer was proposed. In the present work we have analysed for the presence of the cerato-ulmin gene 70 Geosmithia strains representing 29 species, isolated from different host plants and geographic locations. The gene was found in 52.1 % of the strains derived from elm trees, while none of those isolated from nonelms possessed it. The expression of the gene in Geosmithia was also assessed by real time PCR in different growth conditions (liquid culture, solid culture, elm sawdust, dual culture with O. novo-ulmi), and was found to be extremely low in all conditions tested. On the basis of these results we propose that the cerato-ulmin gene is not functional in Geosmithia, but can be considered instead a marker of more extensive transfers of genetic material as shown in other fungi.

  7. An automated approach for the identification of horizontal gene transfers from complete genomes reveals the rhizome of Rickettsiales

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is considered to be a major force driving the evolutionary history of prokaryotes. HGT is widespread in prokaryotes, contributing to the genomic repertoire of prokaryotic organisms, and is particularly apparent in Rickettsiales genomes. Gene gains from both distantly and closely related organisms play crucial roles in the evolution of bacterial genomes. In this work, we focus on genes transferred from distantly related species into Rickettsiales species. Results We developed an automated approach for the detection of HGT from other organisms (excluding alphaproteobacteria) into Rickettsiales genomes. Our systematic approach consisted of several specialized features including the application of a parsimony method for inferring phyletic patterns followed by blast filter, automated phylogenetic reconstruction and the application of patterns for HGT detection. We identified 42 instances of HGT in 31 complete Rickettsiales genomes, of which 38 were previously unidentified instances of HGT from Anaplasma, Wolbachia, Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique and Rickettsia genomes. Additionally, putative cases with no phylogenetic support were assigned gene ontology terms. Overall, these transfers could be characterized as “rhizome-like”. Conclusions Our analysis provides a comprehensive, systematic approach for the automated detection of HGTs from several complete proteome sequences that can be applied to detect instances of HGT within other genomes of interest. PMID:23234643

  8. Genetic diversity and horizontal transfer of genes involved in oxidation of reduced phosphorus compounds by Alcaligenes faecalis WM2072.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Inhibition of Competence Development, Horizontal Gene Transfer and Virulence in Streptococcus pneumoniae by a Modified Competence Stimulating Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Luchang; Lau, Gee W.

    2011-01-01

    Competence stimulating peptide (CSP) is a 17-amino acid peptide pheromone secreted by Streptococcus pneumoniae. Upon binding of CSP to its membrane-associated receptor kinase ComD, a cascade of signaling events is initiated, leading to activation of the competence regulon by the response regulator ComE. Genes encoding proteins that are involved in DNA uptake and transformation, as well as virulence, are upregulated. Previous studies have shown that disruption of key components in the competence regulon inhibits DNA transformation and attenuates virulence. Thus, synthetic analogues that competitively inhibit CSPs may serve as attractive drugs to control pneumococcal infection and to reduce horizontal gene transfer during infection. We performed amino acid substitutions on conserved amino acid residues of CSP1 in an effort to disable DNA transformation and to attenuate the virulence of S. pneumoniae. One of the mutated peptides, CSP1-E1A, inhibited development of competence in DNA transformation by outcompeting CSP1 in time and concentration-dependent manners. CSP1-E1A reduced the expression of pneumococcal virulence factors choline binding protein D (CbpD) and autolysin A (LytA) in vitro, and significantly reduced mouse mortality after lung infection. Furthermore, CSP1-E1A attenuated the acquisition of an antibiotic resistance gene and a capsule gene in vivo. Finally, we demonstrated that the strategy of using a peptide inhibitor is applicable to other CSP subtype, including CSP2. CSP1-E1A and CSP2-E1A were able to cross inhibit the induction of competence and DNA transformation in pneumococcal strains with incompatible ComD subtypes. These results demonstrate the applicability of generating competitive analogues of CSPs as drugs to control horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes, and to attenuate virulence during infection by S. pneumoniae. PMID:21909280

  11. 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.

  12. Integrating Horizontal Gene Transfer and Common Descent to Depict Evolution and Contrast It with “Common Design”1

    PubMed Central

    GUILLERMO PAZ-Y-MIÑO-C; ESPINOSA, AVELINA

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and common descent interact in space and time. Because events of HGT co-occur with phylogenetic evolution, it is difficult to depict evolutionary patterns graphically. Tree-like representations of life’s diversification are useful, but they ignore the significance of HGT in evolutionary history, particularly of unicellular organisms, ancestors of multicellular life. Here we integrate the reticulated-tree model, ring of life, symbiogenesis whole-organism model, and eliminative pattern pluralism to represent evolution. Using Entamoeba histolytica alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (EhADH2), a bifunctional enzyme in the glycolytic pathway of amoeba, we illustrate how EhADH2 could be the product of both horizontally acquired features from ancestral prokaryotes (i.e. aldehyde dehydrogenase [ALDH] and alcohol dehydrogenase [ADH]), and subsequent functional integration of these enzymes into EhADH2, which is now inherited by amoeba via common descent. Natural selection has driven the evolution of EhADH2 active sites, which require specific amino acids (cysteine 252 in the ALDH domain; histidine 754 in the ADH domain), iron- and NAD+ as cofactors, and the substrates acetyl-CoA for ALDH and acetaldehyde for ADH. Alternative views invoking “common design” (i.e. the non-naturalistic emergence of major taxa independent from ancestry) to explain the interaction between horizontal and vertical evolution are unfounded. PMID:20021546

  13. 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

  14. Lifestyle and Horizontal Gene Transfer-Mediated Evolution of Mucispirillum schaedleri, a Core Member of the Murine Gut Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Loy, Alexander; Pfann, Carina; Steinberger, Michaela; Hanson, Buck; Herp, Simone; Brugiroux, Sandrine; Gomes Neto, João Carlos; Boekschoten, Mark V.; Schwab, Clarissa; Urich, Tim; Ramer-Tait, Amanda E.; Rattei, Thomas; Stecher, Bärbel

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mucispirillum schaedleri is an abundant inhabitant of the intestinal mucus layer of rodents and other animals and has been suggested to be a pathobiont, a commensal that plays a role in disease. In order to gain insights into its lifestyle, we analyzed the genome and transcriptome of M. schaedleri ASF 457 and performed physiological experiments to test traits predicted by its genome. Although described as a mucus inhabitant, M. schaedleri has limited capacity for degrading host-derived mucosal glycans and other complex polysaccharides. Additionally, M. schaedleri reduces nitrate and expresses systems for scavenging oxygen and reactive oxygen species in vivo, which may account for its localization close to the mucosal tissue and expansion during inflammation. Also of note, M. schaedleri harbors a type VI secretion system and putative effector proteins and can modify gene expression in mucosal tissue, suggesting intimate interactions with its host and a possible role in inflammation. The M. schaedleri genome has been shaped by extensive horizontal gene transfer, primarily from intestinal Epsilon- and Deltaproteobacteria, indicating that horizontal gene transfer has played a key role in defining its niche in the gut ecosystem. IMPORTANCE Shifts in gut microbiota composition have been associated with intestinal inflammation, but it remains unclear whether inflammation-associated bacteria are commensal or detrimental to their host. Here, we studied the lifestyle of the gut bacterium Mucispirillum schaedleri, which is associated with inflammation in widely used mouse models. We found that M. schaedleri has specialized systems to handle oxidative stress during inflammation. Additionally, it expresses secretion systems and effector proteins and can modify the mucosal gene expression of its host. This suggests that M. schaedleri undergoes intimate interactions with its host and may play a role in inflammation. The insights presented here aid our

  15. The genome of the mustard leaf beetle encodes two active xylanases originally acquired from bacteria through horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Pauchet, Yannick; Heckel, David G.

    2013-01-01

    The primary plant cell wall comprises the most abundant polysaccharides on the Earth and represents a rich source of energy for organisms which have evolved the ability to digest them. Enzymes able to degrade plant cell wall polysaccharides are widely distributed in micro-organisms but are generally absent in animals, although their presence in insects, especially phytophagous beetles from the superfamilies Chrysomeloidea and Curculionoidea, has recently begun to be appreciated. The observed patchy distribution of endogenous genes encoding these enzymes in animals has raised questions about their evolutionary origins. Recent evidence suggests that endogenous plant cell wall degrading enzymes-encoding genes have been acquired by animals through a mechanism known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT describes how genetic material is moved by means other than vertical inheritance from a parent to an offspring. Here, we provide evidence that the mustard leaf beetle, Phaedon cochleariae, possesses in its genome genes encoding active xylanases from the glycoside hydrolase family 11 (GH11). We also provide evidence that these genes were originally acquired by P. cochleariae from a species of gammaproteobacteria through HGT. This represents the first example of the presence of genes from the GH11 family in animals. PMID:23698014

  16. Genetic Exchange among Bdelloid Rotifers Is More Likely Due to Horizontal Gene Transfer Than to Meiotic Sex.

    PubMed

    Debortoli, Nicolas; Li, Xiang; Eyres, Isobel; Fontaneto, Diego; Hespeels, Boris; Tang, Cuong Q; Flot, Jean-François; Van Doninck, Karine

    2016-03-21

    Although strict asexuality is supposed to be an evolutionary dead end, morphological, cytogenetic, and genomic data suggest that bdelloid rotifers, a clade of microscopic animals, have persisted and diversified for more than 60 Myr in an ameiotic fashion. Moreover, the genome of bdelloids of the genus Adineta comprises 8%-10% of genes of putative non-metazoan origin, indicating that horizontal gene transfers are frequent within this group and suggesting that this mechanism may also promote genetic exchanges among bdelloids as well. To test this hypothesis, we used five independent sequence markers to study the genetic diversity of 576 Adineta vaga individuals from a park in Belgium. Haplowebs and GMYC analyses revealed the existence of six species among our sampled A. vaga individuals, with strong evidence of both intra- and interspecific recombination. Comparison of genomic regions of three allele-sharing individuals further revealed signatures of genetic exchanges scattered among regions evolving asexually. Our findings suggest that bdelloids evolve asexually but exchange DNA horizontally both within and between species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Horizontal Gene Transfer of PIB-Type ATPases among Bacteria Isolated from Radionuclide- and Metal-Contaminated Subsurface Soils

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Robert J.; Wang, Yanling; Raimondo, Melanie A.; Coombs, Jonna M.; Barkay, Tamar; Sobecky, Patricia A.

    2006-01-01

    Aerobic heterotrophs were isolated from subsurface soil samples obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Field Research Center (FRC) located at Oak Ridge, Tenn. The FRC represents a unique, extreme environment consisting of highly acidic soils with cooccurring heavy metals, radionuclides, and high nitrate concentrations. Four hundred isolates obtained from contaminated soil were assayed for heavy metal resistance, and a smaller subset was assayed for tolerance to uranium. The vast majority of the isolates were gram-positive bacteria and belonged to the high-G+C- and low-G+C-content genera Arthrobacter and Bacillus, respectively. Genomic DNA from a randomly chosen subset of 50 Pb-resistant (Pbr) isolates was amplified with PCR primers specific for PIB-type ATPases (i.e., pbrA/cadA/zntA). A total of 10 pbrA/cadA/zntA loci exhibited evidence of acquisition by horizontal gene transfer. A remarkable dissemination of the horizontally acquired PIB-type ATPases was supported by unusual DNA base compositions and phylogenetic incongruence. Numerous Pbr PIB-type ATPase-positive FRC isolates belonging to the genus Arthrobacter tolerated toxic concentrations of soluble U(VI) (UO22+) at pH 4. These unrelated, yet synergistic, physiological traits observed in Arthrobacter isolates residing in the contaminated FRC subsurface may contribute to the survival of the organisms in such an extreme environment. This study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first study to report broad horizontal transfer of PIB-type ATPases in contaminated subsurface soils and is among the first studies to report uranium tolerance of aerobic heterotrophs obtained from the acidic subsurface at the DOE FRC. PMID:16672448

  18. Isolation of identical nitrilase genes from multiple bacterial strains and real-time PCR detection of the genes from soils provides evidence of horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Coffey, Lee; Clarke, Adrienne; Duggan, Patrick; Tambling, Karen; Horgan, Serenia; Dowling, David; O'Reilly, Catherine

    2009-10-01

    Bacterial enzymes capable of nitrile hydrolysis have significant industrial potential. Microbacterium sp. AJ115, Rhodococcus erythropolis AJ270 and AJ300 were isolated from the same location in England and harbour identical nitrile hydratase/amidase gene clusters. Strain AJ270 has been well studied due to its nitrile hydratase and amidase activity. R. erythropolis ITCBP was isolated from Denmark and carries a very similar nitrile hydratase/amidase gene cluster. In this study, an identical nitrilase gene (nit1) was isolated from the four strains, and the nitrilase from strain AJ270 cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Analysis of the recombinant nitrilase has shown it to be functional with activity demonstrated towards phenylacetonitrile. A real-time PCR TaqMan assay was developed that allowed nit1 detection directly from soil enrichment cultures without DNA extraction, with nit1 detected in all samples tested. Real-time PCR screening of isolates from these soils resulted in the isolation of nit1 and also very similar nitrilase gene nit2 from a number of Burkholderia sp. The genes nit1 and nit2 have also been detected in many bacteria of different genera but are unstable in these isolates. It is likely that the genes were acquired by horizontal gene transfer and may be wide-spread in the environment.

  19. Fluoroquinolone resistance in atypical pneumococci and oral streptococci: evidence of horizontal gene transfer of fluoroquinolone resistance determinants from Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Ip, Margaret; Chau, Shirley S L; Chi, Fang; Tang, Julian; Chan, Paul K

    2007-08-01

    Atypical strains, presumed to be pneumococcus, with ciprofloxacin MICs of > or =4.0 microg/ml and unique sequence variations within the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of the gyrase and topoisomerase genes in comparison with the Streptococcus pneumoniae R6 strain, were examined. These strains were reidentified using phenotypic methods, including detection of optochin susceptibility, bile solubility, and agglutination by serotype-specific antisera, and genotypic methods, including detection of pneumolysin and autolysin genes by PCR, 16S rRNA sequencing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The analysis based on concatenated sequences of the six MLST loci distinguished the "atypical" strains from pneumococci, and these strains clustered closely with S. mitis. However, all these strains and five of nine strains from the viridans streptococcal group possessed one to three gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE genes whose QRDR sequences clustered with those of S. pneumoniae, providing evidence of horizontal transfer of the QRDRs of the gyrase and topoisomerase genes from pneumococci into viridans streptococci. These genes also conferred fluoroquinolone resistance to viridans streptococci. In addition, the fluoroquinolone resistance determinants of 32 well-characterized Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus oralis strains from bacteremic patients were also compared. These strains have unique amino acid substitutions in GyrA and ParC that were distinguishable from those in fluoroquinolone-resistant pneumococci and the "atypical" isolates. Both recombinational events and de novo mutations play an important role in the development of fluoroquinolone resistance.

  20. Neisseria infection of rhesus macaques as a model to study colonization, transmission, persistence, and horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Weyand, Nathan J.; Wertheimer, Anne M.; Hobbs, Theodore R.; Sisko, Jennifer L.; Taku, Nyiawung A.; Gregston, Lindsay D.; Clary, Susan; Higashi, Dustin L.; Biais, Nicolas; Brown, Lewis M.; Planer, Shannon L.; Legasse, Alfred W.; Axthelm, Michael K.; Wong, Scott W.; So, Magdalene

    2013-01-01

    The strict tropism of many pathogens for man hampers the development of animal models that recapitulate important microbe–host interactions. We developed a rhesus macaque model for studying Neisseria–host interactions using Neisseria species indigenous to the animal. We report that Neisseria are common inhabitants of the rhesus macaque. Neisseria isolated from the rhesus macaque recolonize animals after laboratory passage, persist in the animals for at least 72 d, and are transmitted between animals. Neisseria are naturally competent and acquire genetic markers from each other in vivo, in the absence of selection, within 44 d after colonization. Neisseria macacae encodes orthologs of known or presumed virulence factors of human-adapted Neisseria, as well as current or candidate vaccine antigens. We conclude that the rhesus macaque model will allow studies of the molecular mechanisms of Neisseria colonization, transmission, persistence, and horizontal gene transfer. The model can potentially be developed further for preclinical testing of vaccine candidates. PMID:23382234

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Genomic study of the Type IVC secretion system in Clostridium difficile: understanding C. difficile evolution via horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wen; Cheng, Ying; Du, Pengcheng; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Jia, Hongbing; Li, Xianping; Wang, Jing; Han, Na; Qiang, Yujun; Chen, Chen; Lu, Jinxing

    2017-01-01

    Clostridium difficile, the etiological agent of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), is a gram-positive, spore-forming bacillus that is responsible for ∼20% of antibiotic-related cases of diarrhea and nearly all cases of pseudomembranous colitis. Previous data have shown that a substantial proportion (11%) of the C. difficile genome consists of mobile genetic elements, including seven conjugative transposons. However, the mechanism underlying the formation of a mosaic genome in C. difficile is unknown. The type-IV secretion system (T4SS) is the only secretion system known to transfer DNA segments among bacteria. We searched genome databases to identify a candidate T4SS in C. difficile that could transfer DNA among different C. difficile strains. All T4SS gene clusters in C. difficile are located within genomic islands (GIs), which have variable lengths and structures and are all conjugative transposons. During the horizontal-transfer process of T4SS GIs within the C. difficile population, the excision sites were altered, resulting in different short-tandem repeat sequences among the T4SS GIs, as well as different chromosomal insertion sites and additional regions in the GIs.

  4. Horizontal transfer of a subtilisin gene from plants into an ancestor of the plant pathogenic fungal genus Colletotrichum.

    PubMed

    Armijos Jaramillo, Vinicio Danilo; Vargas, Walter Alberto; Sukno, Serenella Ana; Thon, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    The genus Colletotrichum contains a large number of phytopathogenic fungi that produce enormous economic losses around the world. The effect of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has not been studied yet in these organisms. Inter-Kingdom HGT into fungal genomes has been reported in the past but knowledge about the HGT between plants and fungi is particularly limited. We describe a gene in the genome of several species of the genus Colletotrichum with a strong resemblance to subtilisins typically found in plant genomes. Subtilisins are an important group of serine proteases, widely distributed in all of the kingdoms of life. Our hypothesis is that the gene was acquired by Colletotrichum spp. through (HGT) from plants to a Colletotrichum ancestor. We provide evidence to support this hypothesis in the form of phylogenetic analyses as well as a characterization of the similarity of the subtilisin at the primary, secondary and tertiary structural levels. The remarkable level of structural conservation of Colletotrichum plant-like subtilisin (CPLS) with plant subtilisins and the differences with the rest of Colletotrichum subtilisins suggests the possibility of molecular mimicry. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that the HGT event would have occurred approximately 150-155 million years ago, after the divergence of the Colletotrichum lineage from other fungi. Gene expression analysis shows that the gene is modulated during the infection of maize by C. graminicola suggesting that it has a role in plant disease. Furthermore, the upregulation of the CPLS coincides with the downregulation of several plant genes encoding subtilisins. Based on the known roles of subtilisins in plant pathogenic fungi and the gene expression pattern that we observed, we postulate that the CPLSs have an important role in plant infection.

  5. Horizontal Transfer of a Subtilisin Gene from Plants into an Ancestor of the Plant Pathogenic Fungal Genus Colletotrichum

    PubMed Central

    Armijos Jaramillo, Vinicio Danilo; Vargas, Walter Alberto; Sukno, Serenella Ana; Thon, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    The genus Colletotrichum contains a large number of phytopathogenic fungi that produce enormous economic losses around the world. The effect of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has not been studied yet in these organisms. Inter-Kingdom HGT into fungal genomes has been reported in the past but knowledge about the HGT between plants and fungi is particularly limited. We describe a gene in the genome of several species of the genus Colletotrichum with a strong resemblance to subtilisins typically found in plant genomes. Subtilisins are an important group of serine proteases, widely distributed in all of the kingdoms of life. Our hypothesis is that the gene was acquired by Colletotrichum spp. through (HGT) from plants to a Colletotrichum ancestor. We provide evidence to support this hypothesis in the form of phylogenetic analyses as well as a characterization of the similarity of the subtilisin at the primary, secondary and tertiary structural levels. The remarkable level of structural conservation of Colletotrichum plant-like subtilisin (CPLS) with plant subtilisins and the differences with the rest of Colletotrichum subtilisins suggests the possibility of molecular mimicry. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that the HGT event would have occurred approximately 150–155 million years ago, after the divergence of the Colletotrichum lineage from other fungi. Gene expression analysis shows that the gene is modulated during the infection of maize by C. graminicola suggesting that it has a role in plant disease. Furthermore, the upregulation of the CPLS coincides with the downregulation of several plant genes encoding subtilisins. Based on the known roles of subtilisins in plant pathogenic fungi and the gene expression pattern that we observed, we postulate that the CPLSs have an important role in plant infection. PMID:23554975

  6. Phase Diagrams of Quasispecies Theory with Recombination and Horizontal Gene Transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J.-M.; Deem, M. W.

    2007-02-01

    We consider how transfer of genetic information between individuals influences the phase diagram and mean fitness of both the Eigen and the parallel, or Crow-Kimura, models of evolution. In the absence of genetic transfer, these physical models of evolution consider the replication and point mutation of the genomes of independent individuals in a large population. A phase transition occurs, such that below a critical mutation rate an identifiable quasispecies forms. We show how transfer of genetic information changes the phase diagram and mean fitness and introduces metastability in quasispecies theory, via an analytic field theoretic mapping.

  7. Horizontal Transfer of a Plant Transposon

    PubMed Central

    Diao, Xianmin; Freeling, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The majority of well-documented cases of horizontal transfer between higher eukaryotes involve the movement of transposable elements between animals. Surprisingly, although plant genomes often contain vast numbers of these mobile genetic elements, no evidence of horizontal transfer of a nuclear-encoded transposon between plant species has been detected to date. The most mutagenic known plant transposable element system is the Mutator system in maize. Mu-like elements (MULEs) are widespread among plants, and previous analysis has suggested that the distribution of various subgroups of MULEs is patchy, consistent with horizontal transfer. We have sequenced portions of MULE transposons from a number of species of the genus Setaria and compared them to each other and to publicly available databases. A subset of these elements is remarkably similar to a small family of MULEs in rice. A comparison of noncoding and synonymous sequences revealed that the observed similarity is not due to selection at the amino acid level. Given the amount of time separating Setaria and rice, the degree of similarity between these elements excludes the possibility of simple vertical transmission of this class of MULEs. This is the first well-documented example of horizontal transfer of any nuclear-encoded genes between higher plants. PMID:16336045

  8. 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.

  9. Vitamin B(12) synthesis and salvage pathways were acquired by horizontal gene transfer to the Thermotogales.

    PubMed

    Swithers, Kristen S; Petrus, Amanda K; Secinaro, Michael A; Nesbø, Camilla L; Gogarten, J Peter; Noll, Kenneth M; Butzin, Nicholas C

    2012-01-01

    The availability of genome sequences of Thermotogales species from across the order allows an examination of the evolutionary origins of phenotypic characteristics in this lineage. Several studies have shown that the Thermotogales have acquired large numbers of genes from distantly related lineages, particularly Firmicutes and Archaea. Here, we report the finding that some Thermotogales acquired the ability to synthesize vitamin B(12) by acquiring the requisite genes from these distant lineages. Thermosipho species, uniquely among the Thermotogales, contain genes that encode the means to synthesize vitamin B(12) de novo from glutamate. These genes are split into two gene clusters: the corrinoid synthesis gene cluster, that is unique to the Thermosipho and the cobinamide salvage gene cluster. The corrinoid synthesis cluster was acquired from the Firmicutes lineage, whereas the salvage pathway is an amalgam of bacteria- and archaea-derived proteins. The cobinamide salvage gene cluster has a patchy distribution among Thermotogales species, and ancestral state reconstruction suggests that this pathway was present in the common Thermotogales ancestor. We show that Thermosipho africanus can grow in the absence of vitamin B(12), so its de novo pathway is functional. We detected vitamin B(12) in the extracts of T. africanus cells to verify the synthetic pathway. Genes in T. africanus with apparent B(12) riboswitches were found to be down-regulated in the presence of vitamin B(12) consistent with their roles in B(12) synthesis and cobinamide salvage.

  10. Vitamin B12 Synthesis and Salvage Pathways Were Acquired by Horizontal Gene Transfer to the Thermotogales

    PubMed Central

    Swithers, Kristen S.; Petrus, Amanda K.; Secinaro, Michael A.; Nesbø, Camilla L.; Gogarten, J. Peter; Noll, Kenneth M.; Butzin, Nicholas C.

    2012-01-01

    The availability of genome sequences of Thermotogales species from across the order allows an examination of the evolutionary origins of phenotypic characteristics in this lineage. Several studies have shown that the Thermotogales have acquired large numbers of genes from distantly related lineages, particularly Firmicutes and Archaea. Here, we report the finding that some Thermotogales acquired the ability to synthesize vitamin B12 by acquiring the requisite genes from these distant lineages. Thermosipho species, uniquely among the Thermotogales, contain genes that encode the means to synthesize vitamin B12 de novo from glutamate. These genes are split into two gene clusters: the corrinoid synthesis gene cluster, that is unique to the Thermosipho and the cobinamide salvage gene cluster. The corrinoid synthesis cluster was acquired from the Firmicutes lineage, whereas the salvage pathway is an amalgam of bacteria- and archaea-derived proteins. The cobinamide salvage gene cluster has a patchy distribution among Thermotogales species, and ancestral state reconstruction suggests that this pathway was present in the common Thermotogales ancestor. We show that Thermosipho africanus can grow in the absence of vitamin B12, so its de novo pathway is functional. We detected vitamin B12 in the extracts of T. africanus cells to verify the synthetic pathway. Genes in T. africanus with apparent B12 riboswitches were found to be down-regulated in the presence of vitamin B12 consistent with their roles in B12 synthesis and cobinamide salvage. PMID:22798452

  11. Horizontal gene transfer of chromosomal Type II toxin-antitoxin systems of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Ramisetty, Bhaskar Chandra Mohan; Santhosh, Ramachandran Sarojini

    2016-02-01

    Type II toxin-antitoxin systems (TAs) are small autoregulated bicistronic operons that encode a toxin protein with the potential to inhibit metabolic processes and an antitoxin protein to neutralize the toxin. Most of the bacterial genomes encode multiple TAs. However, the diversity and accumulation of TAs on bacterial genomes and its physiological implications are highly debated. Here we provide evidence that Escherichia coli chromosomal TAs (encoding RNase toxins) are 'acquired' DNA likely originated from heterologous DNA and are the smallest known autoregulated operons with the potential for horizontal propagation. Sequence analyses revealed that integration of TAs into the bacterial genome is unique and contributes to variations in the coding and/or regulatory regions of flanking host genome sequences. Plasmids and genomes encoding identical TAs of natural isolates are mutually exclusive. Chromosomal TAs might play significant roles in the evolution and ecology of bacteria by contributing to host genome variation and by moderation of plasmid maintenance.

  12. Horizontal gene transfer from a flowering plant to the insular pine Pinus canariensis (Chr. Sm. Ex DC in Buch)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, B; Climent, J; Wang, X-R

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is viewed as very common in the plant mitochondrial (mt) genome, but, to date, only one case of HGT has been found in gymnosperms. Here we report a new case of HGT, in which a mt nad5-1 fragment was transferred from an angiosperm to Pinus canariensis. Quantitative assay and sequence analyses showed that the foreign nad5-1 is located in the mt genome of P. canariensis and is nonfunctional. An extensive survey in the genus Pinus revealed that the angiosperm-derived nad5-1 is restricted to P. canariensis and present across the species' range. Molecular dating based on chloroplast DNA suggested that the HGT event occurred in the late Miocene after P. canariensis split from its closest relatives, and that the foreign copy became fixed in P. canariensis owing to drift during its colonization of the Canary Islands. The mechanism of this HGT is unclear but it was probably achieved through either direct cell–cell contact or external vectors. Our discovery provides evidence for an important role of HGT in plant mt genome evolution. PMID:25604946

  13. 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

  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. A genome-wide association study identifies a horizontally transferred bacterial surface adhesin gene associated with antimicrobial resistant strains

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Masato; Shibayama, Keigo; Yahara, Koji

    2016-01-01

    Carbapenems are a class of last-resort antibiotics; thus, the increase in bacterial carbapenem-resistance is a serious public health threat. Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the microorganisms that can acquire carbapenem-resistance; it causes severe nosocomial infection, and is notoriously difficult to control in hospitals. Recently, a machine-learning approach was first used to analyze the genome sequences of hundreds of susceptible and resistant A. baumannii strains, including those carrying commonly acquired resistant mechanisms, to build a classifier that can predict strain resistance. A complementary approach is to explore novel genetic elements that could be associated with the antimicrobial resistance of strains, independent of known mechanisms. Therefore, we carefully selected A. baumannii strains, spanning various genotypes, from public genome databases, and conducted the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of carbapenem resistance. We employed a recently developed method, capable of identifying any kind of genetic variation and accounting for bacterial population structure, and evaluated its effectiveness. Our study identified a surface adhesin gene that had been horizontally transferred to an ancestral branch of A. baumannii, as well as a specific region of that gene that appeared to accumulate multiple individual variations across the different branches of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii strains. PMID:27892531

  16. 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

  17. The Histidine Decarboxylase Gene Cluster of Lactobacillus parabuchneri Was Gained by Horizontal Gene Transfer and Is Mobile within the Species

    PubMed Central

    Wüthrich, Daniel; Berthoud, Hélène; Wechsler, Daniel; Eugster, Elisabeth; Irmler, Stefan; Bruggmann, Rémy

    2017-01-01

    Histamine in food can cause intolerance reactions in consumers. Lactobacillus parabuchneri (L. parabuchneri) is one of the major causes of elevated histamine levels in cheese. Despite its significant economic impact and negative influence on human health, no genomic study has been published so far. We sequenced and analyzed 18 L. parabuchneri strains of which 12 were histamine positive and 6 were histamine negative. We determined the complete genome of the histamine positive strain FAM21731 with PacBio as well as Illumina and the genomes of the remaining 17 strains using the Illumina technology. We developed the synteny aware ortholog finding algorithm SynOrf to compare the genomes and we show that the histidine decarboxylase (HDC) gene cluster is located in a genomic island. It is very likely that the HDC gene cluster was transferred from other lactobacilli, as it is highly conserved within several lactobacilli species. Furthermore, we have evidence that the HDC gene cluster was transferred within the L. parabuchneri species. PMID:28261177

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-04-16

    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.

  20. Evidence for Horizontal Transfer of SsuDAT1I Restriction-Modification Genes to the Streptococcus suis Genome

    PubMed Central

    Sekizaki, Tsutomu; Otani, Yoshiko; Osaki, Makoto; Takamatsu, Daisuke; Shimoji, Yoshihiro

    2001-01-01

    Different strains of Streptococcus suis serotypes 1 and 2 isolated from pigs either contained a restriction-modification (R-M) system or lacked it. The R-M system was an isoschizomer of Streptococcus pneumoniae DpnII, which recognizes nucleotide sequence 5′-GATC-3′. The nucleotide sequencing of the genes encoding the R-M system in S. suis DAT1, designated SsuDAT1I, showed that the SsuDAT1I gene region contained two methyltransferase genes, designated ssuMA and ssuMB, as does the DpnII system. The deduced amino acid sequences of M.SsuMA and M.SsuMB showed 70 and 90% identity to M.DpnII and M.DpnA, respectively. However, the SsuDAT1I system contained two isoschizomeric restriction endonuclease genes, designated ssuRA and ssuRB. The deduced amino acid sequence of R.SsuRA was 49% identical to that of R.DpnII, and R.SsuRB was 72% identical to R.LlaDCHI of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris DCH-4. The four SsuDAT1I genes overlapped and were bounded by purine biosynthetic gene clusters in the following gene order: purF-purM-purN-purH-ssuMA-ssuMB-ssuRA-ssuRB-purD-purE. The G+C content of the SsuDAT1I gene region (34.1%) was lower than that of the pur region (48.9%), suggesting horizontal transfer of the SsuDAT1I system. No transposable element or long-repeat sequence was found in the flanking regions. The SsuDAT1I genes were functional by themselves, as they were individually expressed in Escherichia coli. Comparison of the sequences between strains with and without the R-M system showed that only the region from 53 bp upstream of ssuMA to 5 bp downstream of ssuRB was inserted in the intergenic sequence between purH and purD and that the insertion target site was not the recognition site of SsuDAT1I. No notable substitutions or insertions could be found, and the structures were conserved among all the strains. These results suggest that the SsuDAT1I system could have been integrated into the S. suis chromosome by an illegitimate recombination mechanism. PMID:11133943

  1. Complete-fosmid and fosmid-end sequences reveal frequent horizontal gene transfers in marine uncultured planktonic archaea.

    PubMed

    Brochier-Armanet, Céline; Deschamps, Philippe; López-García, Purificación; Zivanovic, Yvan; Rodríguez-Valera, Francisco; Moreira, David

    2011-08-01

    The extent of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among marine pelagic prokaryotes and the role that HGT may have played in their adaptation to this particular environment remain open questions. This is partly due to the paucity of cultured species and genomic information for many widespread groups of marine bacteria and archaea. Molecular studies have revealed a large diversity and relative abundance of marine planktonic archaea, in particular of Thaumarchaeota (also known as group I Crenarchaeota) and Euryarchaeota of groups II and III, but only one species (the thaumarchaeote Candidatus Nitrosopumilus maritimus) has been isolated in pure culture so far. Therefore, metagenomics remains the most powerful approach to study these environmental groups. To investigate the impact of HGT in marine archaea, we carried out detailed phylogenetic analyses of all open reading frames of 21 archaeal 16S rRNA gene-containing fosmids and, to extend our analysis to other genomic regions, also of fosmid-end sequences of 12 774 fosmids from three different deep-sea locations (South Atlantic and Adriatic Sea at 1000 m depth, and Ionian Sea at 3000 m depth). We found high HGT rates in both marine planktonic Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota, with remarkable converging values estimated from complete-fosmid and fosmid-end sequence analysis (25 and 21% of the genes, respectively). Most HGTs came from bacterial donors (mainly from Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Chloroflexi) but also from other archaea and eukaryotes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that in most cases HGTs are shared by several representatives of the studied groups, implying that they are ancient and have been conserved over relatively long evolutionary periods. This, together with the functions carried out by these acquired genes (mostly related to energy metabolism and transport of metabolites across membranes), suggests that HGT has played an important role in the adaptation of these archaea to the cold and nutrient

  2. 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

  3. Recombination and horizontal transfer of nodulation and ACC deaminase (acdS) genes within Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria nodulating legumes of the Cape Fynbos biome.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, Benny; Van Cauwenberghe, Jannick; Chimphango, Samson; Stirton, Charles; Honnay, Olivier; Smets, Erik; Muasya, A Muthama

    2015-11-01

    The goal of this work is to study the evolution and the degree of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) within rhizobial genera of both Alphaproteobacteria (Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium) and Betaproteobacteria (Burkholderia), originating from South African Fynbos legumes. By using a phylogenetic approach and comparing multiple chromosomal and symbiosis genes, we revealed conclusive evidence of high degrees of horizontal transfer of nodulation genes among closely related species of both groups of rhizobia, but also among species with distant genetic backgrounds (Rhizobium and Mesorhizobium), underscoring the importance of lateral transfer of symbiosis traits as an important evolutionary force among rhizobia of the Cape Fynbos biome. The extensive exchange of symbiosis genes in the Fynbos is in contrast with a lack of significant events of HGT among Burkholderia symbionts from the South American Cerrado and Caatinga biome. Furthermore, homologous recombination among selected housekeeping genes had a substantial impact on sequence evolution within Burkholderia and Mesorhizobium. Finally, phylogenetic analyses of the non-symbiosis acdS gene in Mesorhizobium, a gene often located on symbiosis islands, revealed distinct relationships compared to the chromosomal and symbiosis genes, suggesting a different evolutionary history and independent events of gene transfer. The observed events of HGT and incongruence between different genes necessitate caution in interpreting topologies from individual data types.

  4. Comparative genomics study of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and ectoine relevant genes from Halomonas sp. TD01 revealed extensive horizontal gene transfer events and co-evolutionary relationships.

    PubMed

    Cai, Lei; Tan, Dan; Aibaidula, Gulsimay; Dong, Xin-Ran; Chen, Jin-Chun; Tian, Wei-Dong; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    2011-11-01

    Halophilic bacteria have shown their significance in industrial production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and are gaining more attention for genetic engineering modification. Yet, little information on the genomics and PHA related genes from halophilic bacteria have been disclosed so far. The draft genome of moderately halophilic bacterium, Halomonas sp. TD01, a strain of great potential for industrial production of short-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), was analyzed through computational methods to reveal the osmoregulation mechanism and the evolutionary relationship of the enzymes relevant to PHA and ectoine syntheses. Genes involved in the metabolism of PHA and osmolytes were annotated and studied in silico. Although PHA synthase, depolymerase, regulator/repressor and phasin were all involved in PHA metabolic pathways, they demonstrated different horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events between the genomes of different strains. In contrast, co-occurrence of ectoine genes in the same genome was more frequently observed, and ectoine genes were more likely under coincidental horizontal gene transfer than PHA related genes. In addition, the adjacent organization of the homologues of PHA synthase phaC1 and PHA granule binding protein phaP was conserved in the strain TD01, which was also observed in some halophiles and non-halophiles exclusively from γ-proteobacteria. In contrast to haloarchaea, the proteome of Halomonas sp. TD01 did not show obvious inclination towards acidity relative to non-halophilic Escherichia coli MG1655, which signified that Halomonas sp. TD01 preferred the accumulation of organic osmolytes to ions in order to balance the intracellular osmotic pressure with the environment. The accessibility of genome information would facilitate research on the genetic engineering of halophilic bacteria including Halomonas sp. TD01.

  5. Comparative genomics study of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and ectoine relevant genes from Halomonas sp. TD01 revealed extensive horizontal gene transfer events and co-evolutionary relationships

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Halophilic bacteria have shown their significance in industrial production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and are gaining more attention for genetic engineering modification. Yet, little information on the genomics and PHA related genes from halophilic bacteria have been disclosed so far. Results The draft genome of moderately halophilic bacterium, Halomonas sp. TD01, a strain of great potential for industrial production of short-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), was analyzed through computational methods to reveal the osmoregulation mechanism and the evolutionary relationship of the enzymes relevant to PHA and ectoine syntheses. Genes involved in the metabolism of PHA and osmolytes were annotated and studied in silico. Although PHA synthase, depolymerase, regulator/repressor and phasin were all involved in PHA metabolic pathways, they demonstrated different horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events between the genomes of different strains. In contrast, co-occurrence of ectoine genes in the same genome was more frequently observed, and ectoine genes were more likely under coincidental horizontal gene transfer than PHA related genes. In addition, the adjacent organization of the homologues of PHA synthase phaC1 and PHA granule binding protein phaP was conserved in the strain TD01, which was also observed in some halophiles and non-halophiles exclusively from γ-proteobacteria. In contrast to haloarchaea, the proteome of Halomonas sp. TD01 did not show obvious inclination towards acidity relative to non-halophilic Escherichia coli MG1655, which signified that Halomonas sp. TD01 preferred the accumulation of organic osmolytes to ions in order to balance the intracellular osmotic pressure with the environment. Conclusions The accessibility of genome information would facilitate research on the genetic engineering of halophilic bacteria including Halomonas sp. TD01. PMID:22040376

  6. Occurrence of horizontal gene transfer of P(IB)-type ATPase genes among bacteria isolated from the uranium rich deposit of Domiasiat in North East India.

    PubMed

    Nongkhlaw, Macmillan; Kumar, Rakshak; 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 P(IB)-type ATPase genes. Phylogenetic incongruence and anomalous DNA base compositions revealed the acquisition of P(IB)-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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. DNA uptake sequences in Neisseria gonorrhoeae as intrinsic transcriptional terminators and markers of horizontal gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Gurung, Neesha

    2016-01-01

    DNA uptake sequences are widespread throughout the Neisseria gonorrhoeae genome. These short, conserved sequences facilitate the exchange of endogenous DNA between members of the genus Neisseria. Often the DNA uptake sequences are present as inverted repeats that are able to form hairpin structures. It has been suggested previously that DNA uptake sequence inverted repeats present 3′ of genes play a role in rho-independent termination and attenuation. However, there is conflicting experimental evidence to support this role. The aim of this study was to determine the role of DNA uptake sequences in transcriptional termination. Both bioinformatics predictions, conducted using TransTermHP, and experimental evidence, from RNA-seq data, were used to determine which inverted repeat DNA uptake sequences are transcriptional terminators and in which direction. Here we show that DNA uptake sequences in the inverted repeat configuration occur in N. gonorrhoeae both where the DNA uptake sequence precedes the inverted version of the sequence and also, albeit less frequently, in reverse order. Due to their symmetrical configuration, inverted repeat DNA uptake sequences can potentially act as bi-directional terminators, therefore affecting transcription on both DNA strands. This work also provides evidence that gaps in DNA uptake sequence density in the gonococcal genome coincide with areas of DNA that are foreign in origin, such as prophage. This study differentiates for the first time, to our knowledge, between DNA uptake sequences that form intrinsic transcriptional terminators and those that do not, providing characteristic features within the flanking inverted repeat that can be identified. PMID:28348864

  10. Cloning of the organophosphorus pesticide hydrolase gene clusters of seven degradative bacteria isolated from a methyl parathion contaminated site and evidence of their horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ruifu; Cui, Zhongli; Zhang, Xiaozhou; Jiang, Jiandong; Gu, Ji-Dong; Li, Shunpeng

    2006-10-01

    Seven organophosphorus pesticide-degrading bacteria harboring the methyl parathion degrading (mpd) gene were isolated from a methyl parathion contaminated site. In this study, the 4.7 kb mpd gene cluster, conserved in all seven bacteria capable of degrading methyl parathion, was cloned and further analysis revealed that this cluster contained five ORFs and the mpd gene was associated with a mobile element, IS6100. In addition to mpd gene ORF and tnpA ORF, three other ORFs showed high homology to the permease component of ABC-type transport system, the general secretion pathway protein B, and the RNA polymerase sigma 70 factor, respectively. The mpd genes of these 7 strains were subcloned and expressed in E. coli, SDS-PAGE and zymogram analysis showed that two expression products of mpd genes in E. coli were found, but the one without signal peptide showed the hydrolytic activities. Our evidences collectively suggest that mpd gene cluster may be disseminated through horizontal gene transfer based on phylogenetic analysis of the cluster and their host bacterial strains, and comparisons of GC content of the cluster and respective host's chromosome.

  11. Experimental examination of EFL and MATX eukaryotic horizontal gene transfers: coexistence of mutually exclusive transcripts predates functional rescue.

    PubMed

    Szabová, Jana; Ruzicka, Petr; Verner, Zdenek; Hampl, Vladimír; Lukes, Julius

    2011-08-01

    Many eukaryotic genes do not follow simple vertical inheritance. Elongation factor 1α (EF-1α) and methionine adenosyl transferase (MAT) are enzymes with complicated evolutionary histories and, interestingly, the two cases have several features in common. These essential enzymes occur as two relatively divergent paralogs (EF-1α/EFL, MAT/MATX) that have patchy distributions in eukaryotic lineages that are nearly mutually exclusive. To explain such distributions, we must invoke either multiple eukaryote-to-eukaryote horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) followed by functional replacement or presence of both paralogs in the common ancestor followed by long-term coexistence and differential losses in various eukaryotic lineages. To understand the evolution of these paralogs, we have performed in vivo experiments in Trypanosoma brucei addressing the consequences of long-term coexpression and functional replacement. In the first experiment of its kind, we have demonstrated that EF-1α and MAT can be simultaneously expressed with EFL and MATX, respectively, without affecting the growth of the flagellates. After the endogenous MAT or EF-1α was downregulated by RNA interference, MATX immediately substituted for its paralog, whereas EFL was not able to substitute for EF-1α, leading to mortality. We conclude that MATX is naturally capable of evolving patchy paralog distribution via HGTs and/or long- term coexpression and differential losses. The capability of EFL to spread by HGT is lower and so the patchy distribution of EF-1α/EFL paralogs was probably shaped mainly by deep paralogy followed by long-term coexistence and differential losses.

  12. Widespread horizontal transfer of retrotransposons

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  13. Real-time PCR detection of Fe-type nitrile hydratase genes from environmental isolates suggests horizontal gene transfer between multiple genera.

    PubMed

    Coffey, Lee; Owens, Erica; Tambling, Karen; O'Neill, David; O'Connor, Laura; O'Reilly, Catherine

    2010-11-01

    Nitriles are widespread in the environment as a result of biological and industrial activity. Nitrile hydratases catalyse the hydration of nitriles to the corresponding amide and are often associated with amidases, which catalyze the conversion of amides to the corresponding acids. Nitrile hydratases have potential as biocatalysts in bioremediation and biotransformation applications, and several successful examples demonstrate the advantages. In this work a real-time PCR assay was designed for the detection of Fe-type nitrile hydratase genes from environmental isolates purified from nitrile-enriched soils and seaweeds. Specific PCR primers were also designed for amplification and sequencing of the genes. Identical or highly homologous nitrile hydratase genes were detected from isolates of numerous genera from geographically diverse sites, as were numerous novel genes. The genes were also detected from isolates of genera not previously reported to harbour nitrile hydratases. The results provide further evidence that many bacteria have acquired the genes via horizontal gene transfer. The real-time PCR assay should prove useful in searching for nitrile hydratases that could have novel substrate specificities and therefore potential in industrial applications.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2016-05-27

    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.

  16. Horizontal Transfer of the OXA-24 Carbapenemase Gene via Outer Membrane Vesicles: a New Mechanism of Dissemination of Carbapenem Resistance Genes in Acinetobacter baumannii ▿

    PubMed Central

    Rumbo, Carlos; Fernández-Moreira, Esteban; Merino, María; Poza, Margarita; Mendez, Jose Antonio; Soares, Nelson C.; Mosquera, Alejandro; Chaves, Fernando; Bou, Germán

    2011-01-01

    The resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii strains to carbapenems is a worrying problem in hospital settings. The main mechanism of carbapenem resistance is the expression of β-lactamases (metalloenzymes or class D enzymes). The mechanisms of the dissemination of these genes among A. baumannii strains are not fully understood. In this study we used two carbapenem-resistant clinical strains of A. baumannii (AbH12O-A2 and AbH12O-CU3) expressing the plasmid-borne blaOXA-24 gene (plasmids pMMA2 and pMMCU3, respectively) to demonstrate that A. baumannii releases outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) during in vitro growth. The use of hybridization studies enabled us to show that these OMVs harbored the blaOXA-24 gene. The incubation of these OMVs with the carbapenem-susceptible A. baumannii ATCC 17978 host strain yielded full resistance to carbapenems. The presence of the original plasmids harboring the blaOXA-24 gene was detected in strain ATCC 17978 after the transformation of OMVs. New OMVs harboring blaOXA-24 were released by A. baumannii ATCC 17978 after it was transformed with the original OMV-mediated plasmids, indicating the universality of the process. We present the first experimental evidence that clinical isolates of A. baumannii may release OMVs as a mechanism of horizontal gene transfer whereby carbapenem resistance genes are delivered to surrounding A. baumannii bacterial isolates. PMID:21518847

  17. Horizontal transfer of the OXA-24 carbapenemase gene via outer membrane vesicles: a new mechanism of dissemination of carbapenem resistance genes in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    PubMed

    Rumbo, Carlos; Fernández-Moreira, Esteban; Merino, María; Poza, Margarita; Mendez, Jose Antonio; Soares, Nelson C; Mosquera, Alejandro; Chaves, Fernando; Bou, Germán

    2011-07-01

    The resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii strains to carbapenems is a worrying problem in hospital settings. The main mechanism of carbapenem resistance is the expression of β-lactamases (metalloenzymes or class D enzymes). The mechanisms of the dissemination of these genes among A. baumannii strains are not fully understood. In this study we used two carbapenem-resistant clinical strains of A. baumannii (AbH12O-A2 and AbH12O-CU3) expressing the plasmid-borne bla(OXA-24) gene (plasmids pMMA2 and pMMCU3, respectively) to demonstrate that A. baumannii releases outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) during in vitro growth. The use of hybridization studies enabled us to show that these OMVs harbored the bla(OXA-24) gene. The incubation of these OMVs with the carbapenem-susceptible A. baumannii ATCC 17978 host strain yielded full resistance to carbapenems. The presence of the original plasmids harboring the bla(OXA-24) gene was detected in strain ATCC 17978 after the transformation of OMVs. New OMVs harboring bla(OXA-24) were released by A. baumannii ATCC 17978 after it was transformed with the original OMV-mediated plasmids, indicating the universality of the process. We present the first experimental evidence that clinical isolates of A. baumannii may release OMVs as a mechanism of horizontal gene transfer whereby carbapenem resistance genes are delivered to surrounding A. baumannii bacterial isolates.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Generation of genic diversity among Streptococcus pneumoniae strains via horizontal gene transfer during a chronic polyclonal pediatric infection.

    PubMed

    Hiller, N Luisa; Ahmed, Azad; Powell, Evan; Martin, Darren P; Eutsey, Rory; Earl, Josh; Janto, Benjamin; Boissy, Robert J; Hogg, Justin; Barbadora, Karen; Sampath, Rangarajan; Lonergan, Shaun; Post, J Christopher; Hu, Fen Z; Ehrlich, Garth D

    2010-09-16

    Although there is tremendous interest in understanding the evolutionary roles of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) processes that occur during chronic polyclonal infections, to date there have been few studies that directly address this topic. We have characterized multiple HGT events that most likely occurred during polyclonal infection among nasopharyngeal strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae recovered from a child suffering from chronic upper respiratory and middle-ear infections. Whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics were performed on six isolates collected during symptomatic episodes over a period of seven months. From these comparisons we determined that five of the isolates were genetically highly similar and likely represented a dominant lineage. We analyzed all genic and allelic differences among all six isolates and found that all differences tended to occur within contiguous genomic blocks, suggestive of strain evolution by homologous recombination. From these analyses we identified three strains (two of which were recovered on two different occasions) that appear to have been derived sequentially, one from the next, each by multiple recombination events. We also identified a fourth strain that contains many of the genomic segments that differentiate the three highly related strains from one another, and have hypothesized that this fourth strain may have served as a donor multiple times in the evolution of the dominant strain line. The variations among the parent, daughter, and grand-daughter recombinant strains collectively cover greater than seven percent of the genome and are grouped into 23 chromosomal clusters. While capturing in vivo HGT, these data support the distributed genome hypothesis and suggest that a single competence event in pneumococci can result in the replacement of DNA at multiple non-adjacent loci.

  1. 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

  2. Monitoring of possible horizontal gene transfer from transgenic potatoes to soil microorganisms in the potato fields and the emergence of variants in Phytophthora infestans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Eun; Moon, Jae Sun; Kim, Jung Kyu; Yoo, Ran Hee; Choi, Won Sik; Lee, Eun Na; Lee, Sang Han; Kim, Sung Uk

    2010-06-01

    To examine the possibility of horizontal gene transfer between transgenic potatoes and microorganisms in potato fields, the gene flow from transgenic potatoes containing nucleoside diphosphate kinase 2 (NDPK2) gene to microorganisms in soils was investigated. The soil samples collected from the potato fields from March to October in 2007 were examined by PCR, Southern hybridization, and AFLP fingerprinting. The NDPK2 gene from soil genomic DNAs was not detected by both PCR and Southern hybridization, indicating that gene-transfer did not occur in the potato fields. In addition, no discrepancy was found in pathogenicity and noticeable changes for the appearance of variants of Phytophthora infestans in each generation when serial inoculations and the analysis of genomic DNAs by AFLP was conducted. Thus, these data suggest that transgenic potatoes do not give significant impacts on the communities of soil microorganisms and the emergence of variants although continued research efforts may be necessary to make a decisive conclusion.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. pAO1 of Arthrobacter nicotinovorans and the spread of catabolic traits by horizontal gene transfer in gram-positive soil bacteria.

    PubMed

    Mihasan, Marius; Brandsch, Roderich

    2013-08-01

    The 165-kb megaplasmid pAO1 of Arthrobacter nicotinovorans carries two large gene clusters, one involved in nicotine catabolism (nic-gene cluster) and one in carbohydrate utilization (ch-gene cluster). Here, we propose that both gene clusters were acquired by A. nicotinovorans by horizontal gene transfer mediated by pAO1. Protein-protein blast search showed that none of the published Arthrobacter genomes contains nic-genes, but Rhodococcus opacus carries on its chromosome a nic-gene cluster highly similar to that of pAO1. Analysis of the nic-genes in the two species suggested a recombination event between their nic-gene clusters. Apparently, there was a gene exchange between pAO1, or a precursor plasmid, and a nic-gene cluster of an as yet unidentified Arthrobacter specie or other soil bacterium, possibly related to Rhodococcus, leading to the transfer by pAO1 of this catabolic trait to A. nicotinovorans. Analysis of the pAO1 ch-gene cluster revealed a virtually identical counterpart on the chromosome of Arthrobacter phenanthrenivorans. Moreover, the sequence analysis of the genes flanking the ch-gene cluster suggested that it was acquired by pAO1 by Xer-related site directed recombination and transferred via the plasmid to A. nicotinovorans. The G+C content, the level of sequence identity, gene co-linearity of nic- and ch-gene clusters as well as the signs of recombination events clearly supports the notion of pAO1 and its precursor plasmids as vehicles in HGT among Gram + soil bacteria.

  6. Gene clusters FDB1 and FDB2 in Fusarium verticillioides were acquired through multiple horizontal gene transfer events

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The corn pathogen Fusarium verticillioides is of significant importance because of its deleterious effects on plant and animal health and on the quality of their products due to mycotoxin contamination. The fungus is known to metabolize antimicrobial compounds produced by corn using genes within t...

  7. Contributions of vertical descent, horizontal transfer and gene loss to the distribution of mycotoxin biosynthetic gene clusters in Fusarium

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The genus Fusarium produces a diverse array of mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites, but individual species contribute to only a small fraction of this diversity. Here, we employed comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses to investigate the distribution and evolution of gene clusters resp...

  8. A horizontally transferred tRNA(Cys) gene in the sugar beet mitochondrial genome: evidence that the gene is present in diverse angiosperms and its transcript is aminoacylated.

    PubMed

    Kitazaki, Kazuyoshi; Kubo, Tomohiko; Kagami, Hiroyo; Matsumoto, Takuma; Fujita, Asami; Matsuhira, Hiroaki; Matsunaga, Muneyuki; Mikami, Tetsuo

    2011-10-01

    Of the two tRNA(Cys) (GCA) genes, trnC1-GCA and trnC2-GCA, previously identified in mitochondrial genome of sugar beet, the former is a native gene and probably a pseudo-copy, whereas the latter, of unknown origin, is transcribed into a tRNA [tRNA(Cys2) (GCA)]. In this study, the trnC2-GCA sequence was mined from various public databases. To evaluate whether or not the trnC2-GCA sequence is located in the mitochondrial genome, the relative copy number of its sequence to nuclear gene was assessed in a number of angiosperm species, using a quantitative real-time PCR assay. The trnC2-GCA sequence was found to exist sporadically in the mitochondrial genomes of a wide range of angiosperms. The mitochondrial tRNA(Cys2) (GCA) species from sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), spinach (Spinacea oleracea) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) were found to be aminoacylated, indicating that they may participate in translation. We also identified a sugar beet nuclear gene that encodes cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase, which is dual-targeted to mitochondria and plastids, and may aminoacylate tRNA(Cys2) (GCA). What is of particular interest is that trnC1-GCA and trnC2-GCA co-exist in the mitochondrial genomes of eight diverse angiosperms, including spinach, and that the spinach tRNA(Cys1) (GCA) is also aminoacylated. Taken together, our observations lead us to surmise that trnC2-GCA may have been horizontally transferred to a common ancestor of eudicots, followed by co-existence and dual expression of trnC1-GCA and trnC2-GCA in mitochondria with occasional loss or inactivation of either trnC-GCA gene during evolution.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Massive horizontal gene transfer, strictly vertical inheritance and ancient duplications differentially shape the evolution of Bacillus cereus enterotoxin operons hbl, cytK and nhe.

    PubMed

    Böhm, Maria-Elisabeth; Huptas, Christopher; Krey, Viktoria Magdalena; Scherer, Siegfried

    2015-11-10

    Bacillus cereus sensu lato comprises eight closely related species including the human pathogens Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus. Within B. cereus sensu lato, chromosomally and plasmid-encoded toxins exist. While plasmid-mediated horizontal gene transfer of the emetic toxin, anthrax and insecticidal toxins is known, evolution of enterotoxin genes within the group has not been studied. We report draft genome assemblies of 25 strains, a phylogenetic network of 142 strains based on ANI derived from genome sequences and a phylogeny based on whole-genome SNP analysis. The data clearly support subdivision of B. cereus sensu lato into seven phylogenetic groups. While group I, V and VII represent B. pseudomycoides, B. toyonensis and B. cytotoxicus, which are distinguishable at species level (ANI border ≥ 96 %), strains ascribed to the other five species do not match phylogenic groups. The chromosomal enterotoxin operons nheABC and hblCDAB are abundant within B. cereus both isolated from infections and from the environment. While the duplicated hbl variant hbl a is present in 22 % of all strains investigated, duplication of nheABC is extremely rare (0.02 %) and appears to be phylogenetically unstable. Distribution of toxin genes was matched to a master tree based on seven concatenated housekeeping genes, which depicts species relationships in B. cereus sensu lato as accurately as whole-genome comparisons. Comparison to the phylogeny of enterotoxin genes uncovered ample evidence for horizontal transfer of hbl, cytK and plcR, as well as frequent deletion of both toxins and duplication of hbl. No evidence for nhe deletion was found and stable horizontal transfer of nhe is rare. Therefore, evolution of B. cereus enterotoxin operons is shaped unexpectedly different for yet unknown reasons. Frequent exchange of the pathogenicity factors hbl, cytK and plcR in B. cereus sensu lato appears to be an important mechanism of B. cereus virulence evolution, including so

  12. Field study results on the probability and risk of a horizontal gene transfer from transgenic herbicide-resistant oilseed rape pollen to gut bacteria of bees.

    PubMed

    Mohr, Kathrin I; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2007-06-01

    Bees are specifically subjected to intimate contacts with transgenic plants due to their feeding activities on pollen. In this study, the probability and ecological risk of a gene transfer from pollen to gut bacteria of bees was investigated with larvae of Apis mellifera (honeybee), Bombus terrestris (bumblebee), and Osmia bicornis (red mason bee), all collected at a flowering transgenic oilseed rape field. The plants were genetically engineered with the pat-gene, conferring resistance against glufosinate (syn. phosphinothricin), a glutamine-synthetase inhibitor in plants and microorganisms. Ninety-six bacterial strains were isolated and characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, revealing that Firmicutes represented 58% of the isolates, Actinobacteria 31%, and Proteobacteria 11%, respectively. Of all isolates, 40% were resistant to 1 mM glufosinate, and 11% even to 10 mM. Resistant phenotypes were found in all phylogenetic groups. None of the resistant phenotypes carried the recombinant pat-gene in its genome. The threshold of detecting gene transfer in this field study was relatively insensitive due to the high background of natural glufosinate resistance. However, the broad occurrence of glufosinate-resistant bacteria from different phylogenetic groups suggests that rare events of horizontal gene transfer will not add significantly to natural bacterial glufosinate resistance.

  13. 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.

  14. Unprecedented levels of horizontal gene transfer among spatially co-occurring Shewanella bacteria from the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Caro-Quintero, Alejandro; Deng, Jie; Auchtung, Jennifer; Brettar, Ingrid; Höfle, Manfred G; Klappenbach, Joel; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2011-01-01

    High-throughput sequencing studies during the last decade have uncovered that bacterial genomes are very diverse and dynamic, resulting primarily from the frequent and promiscuous horizontal gene exchange that characterizes the bacterial domain of life. However, a robust understanding of the rates of genetic exchange for most bacterial species under natural conditions and the influence of the ecological settings on the rates remain elusive, severely limiting our view of the microbial world. Here, we analyzed the complete genomic sequences and expressed transcriptomes of several Shewanella baltica isolates recovered from different depths in the Baltic Sea and found that isolates from more similar depths had exchanged a larger fraction of their core and auxiliary genome, up to 20% of the total, compared with isolates from more different depths. The exchanged genes seem to be ecologically important and contribute to the successful adaptation of the isolates to the unique physicochemical conditions of the depth. Importantly, the latter genes were exchanged in very recent past, presumably as an effect of isolate's seasonal migration across the water column, and reflected sexual speciation within the same depth. Therefore, our findings reveal that genetic exchange in response to environmental settings may be surprisingly rapid, which has important broader impacts for understanding bacterial speciation and evolution and for modeling bacterial responses to human-induced environmental impacts.

  15. Algorithms for computing parsimonious evolutionary scenarios for genome evolution, the last universal common ancestor and dominance of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Mirkin, Boris G; Fenner, Trevor I; Galperin, Michael Y; Koonin, Eugene V

    2003-01-06

    Comparative analysis of sequenced genomes reveals numerous instances of apparent horizontal gene transfer (HGT), at least in prokaryotes, and indicates that lineage-specific gene loss might have been even more common in evolution. This complicates the notion of a species tree, which needs to be re-interpreted as a prevailing evolutionary trend, rather than the full depiction of evolution, and makes reconstruction of ancestral genomes a non-trivial task. We addressed the problem of constructing parsimonious scenarios for individual sets of orthologous genes given a species tree. The orthologous sets were taken from the database of Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins (COGs). We show that the phyletic patterns (patterns of presence-absence in completely sequenced genomes) of almost 90% of the COGs are inconsistent with the hypothetical species tree. Algorithms were developed to reconcile the phyletic patterns with the species tree by postulating gene loss, COG emergence and HGT (the latter two classes of events were collectively treated as gene gains). We prove that each of these algorithms produces a parsimonious evolutionary scenario, which can be represented as mapping of loss and gain events on the species tree. The distribution of the evolutionary events among the tree nodes substantially depends on the underlying assumptions of the reconciliation algorithm, e.g. whether or not independent gene gains (gain after loss after gain) are permitted. Biological considerations suggest that, on average, gene loss might be a more likely event than gene gain. Therefore different gain penalties were used and the resulting series of reconstructed gene sets for the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of the extant life forms were analysed. The number of genes in the reconstructed LUCA gene sets grows as the gain penalty increases. However, qualitative examination of the LUCA versions reconstructed with different gain penalties indicates that, even with a gain penalty

  16. Algorithms for computing parsimonious evolutionary scenarios for genome evolution, the last universal common ancestor and dominance of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Mirkin, Boris G; Fenner, Trevor I; Galperin, Michael Y; Koonin, Eugene V

    2003-01-01

    Background Comparative analysis of sequenced genomes reveals numerous instances of apparent horizontal gene transfer (HGT), at least in prokaryotes, and indicates that lineage-specific gene loss might have been even more common in evolution. This complicates the notion of a species tree, which needs to be re-interpreted as a prevailing evolutionary trend, rather than the full depiction of evolution, and makes reconstruction of ancestral genomes a non-trivial task. Results We addressed the problem of constructing parsimonious scenarios for individual sets of orthologous genes given a species tree. The orthologous sets were taken from the database of Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins (COGs). We show that the phyletic patterns (patterns of presence-absence in completely sequenced genomes) of almost 90% of the COGs are inconsistent with the hypothetical species tree. Algorithms were developed to reconcile the phyletic patterns with the species tree by postulating gene loss, COG emergence and HGT (the latter two classes of events were collectively treated as gene gains). We prove that each of these algorithms produces a parsimonious evolutionary scenario, which can be represented as mapping of loss and gain events on the species tree. The distribution of the evolutionary events among the tree nodes substantially depends on the underlying assumptions of the reconciliation algorithm, e.g. whether or not independent gene gains (gain after loss after gain) are permitted. Biological considerations suggest that, on average, gene loss might be a more likely event than gene gain. Therefore different gain penalties were used and the resulting series of reconstructed gene sets for the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of the extant life forms were analysed. The number of genes in the reconstructed LUCA gene sets grows as the gain penalty increases. However, qualitative examination of the LUCA versions reconstructed with different gain penalties indicates that, even

  17. Demonstrating plasmid-based horizontal gene transfer in complex environmental matrices: a practical approach for a critical review.

    PubMed

    Bellanger, Xavier; Guilloteau, Hélène; Bonot, Sébastien; Merlin, Christophe

    2014-09-15

    Plasmid-based dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental microbial communities is a matter of concern for public health, but it remains difficult to study for methodological reasons. In this study, we used the broad host range plasmid pB10 to compare and to point out the main drawbacks of the three different approaches currently used to evaluate plasmid transfer in natural communities. Culture-based selection of transconjugants appeared to be compromised by high prevalence of antibiotic resistances among natural communities, unless high loads of initial pB10-donor inocula were used. Fluorescence-based detection of transconjugants reached a dead-end consequently to the narrow host range of bacteria expressing fluorescent proteins from a genetically modified pB10 plasmid, in addition to the relatively high background level of fluorescence exhibited by some environmental matrices. The molecular-based approach was the only one to provide a mean to detect rare plasmid transfer events following a low but realistic initial pB10-donor inoculation. Whatever the method, culture-based or molecular-based, the detection of successful transfer events in a given environmental matrix seemed to be linked to the initial stability of the donor inoculum. Depending on the matrix considered, eukaryotic predation plays a significant role in either limiting or promoting the plasmid transfer events.

  18. Horizontal Transfer of a Novel Soil Agarase Gene from Marine Bacteria to Soil Bacteria via Human Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Song, Tao; Xu, Hui; Wei, Congchong; Jiang, Tengfei; Qin, Shishang; Zhang, Weijia; Cao, Yu; Hu, Chao; Zhang, Fan; Qiao, Dairong; Cao, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Seaweed is receiving an increasing amount of attention as a “sea vegetable”. The microbiota of coastal populations may acquire seaweed associated enzymes through marine food. Several agarases have been found in non-marine environments; however, their origin is unknown. In this study, a hypothetical protein, Aga1, was identified as an agarase from an inland soil agar-degrading bacterium, Paenibacillus sp. SSG-1.Having low similarity to known glycoside hydrolases, Aga1 may be a distant member of the glycoside hydrolase family 86. Aga1 has good pH stability (pH 3–11) and is stable in the presence of various metal ions. Aga1 is an exo-type β-agarase that produces NA 4 (neoagarotetraose) and NA 6 (neoagarohexaose) as its main products. In addition, Aga1 may be a cell-surface-binding protein. The bioinformatic analysis showed aga1 may have been transfered together with its surrounding genes, from marine bacteria to soil bacteria via human microbiota. The use of seaweed as food and the disposal of human faeces or saliva were the most likely reasons for this gene transfer pathway. Notably, the results also indicated that microbes from inland humans may degrade agar and that these microbes may have acquired seaweed associated genes because of increased seaweed in diets. PMID:27756908

  19. Trans-kingdom horizontal DNA transfer from bacteria to yeast is highly plastic due to natural polymorphisms in auxiliary nonessential recipient genes.

    PubMed

    Moriguchi, Kazuki; Yamamoto, Shinji; Tanaka, Katsuyuki; Kurata, Nori; Suzuki, Katsunori

    2013-01-01

    With the rapid accumulation of genomic information from various eukaryotes in the last decade, genes proposed to have been derived from recent horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events have been reported even in non-phagotrophic unicellular and multicellular organisms, but the molecular pathways underlying HGT remain to be explained. The development of in vitro HGT detection systems, which permit the molecular and genetic analyses of donor and recipient organisms and quantify HGT, are helpful in order to gain insight into mechanisms that may contribute to contemporary HGT events or may have contributed to past HGT events. We applied a horizontal DNA transfer system model based on conjugal gene transfer called trans-kingdom conjugation (TKC) from the prokaryote Escherichia coli to the eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and assessed whether and to what extent genetic variations in the eukaryotic recipient affect its receptivity to TKC. Strains from a collection of 4,823 knock-out mutants of S. cerevisiae MAT-α haploids were tested for their individual TKC receptivity. Two types of mutants, an ssd1 mutant and respiratory mutants, which are also found in experimental strains and in nature widely, were identified as highly receptive mutants. The TKC efficiency for spontaneously accrued petite (rho (-/0)) mutants of the functional allele (SSD1-V) strain showed increased receptivity. The TKC efficiency of the ssd1Δ mutant was 36% for bacterial conjugation, while that of the petite/ssd1Δ double mutants was even higher (220% in average) compared to bacterial conjugation. This increased TKC receptivity was also observed when other conjugal transfer systems were applied and the donor bacterium was changed to Agrobacterium tumefaciens. These results support the idea that the genomes of certain eukaryotes have been exposed to exogenous DNA more frequently and continuously than previously thought.

  20. Trans-Kingdom Horizontal DNA Transfer from Bacteria to Yeast Is Highly Plastic Due to Natural Polymorphisms in Auxiliary Nonessential Recipient Genes

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Kazuki; Yamamoto, Shinji; Tanaka, Katsuyuki; Kurata, Nori; Suzuki, Katsunori

    2013-01-01

    With the rapid accumulation of genomic information from various eukaryotes in the last decade, genes proposed to have been derived from recent horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events have been reported even in non-phagotrophic unicellular and multicellular organisms, but the molecular pathways underlying HGT remain to be explained. The development of in vitro HGT detection systems, which permit the molecular and genetic analyses of donor and recipient organisms and quantify HGT, are helpful in order to gain insight into mechanisms that may contribute to contemporary HGT events or may have contributed to past HGT events. We applied a horizontal DNA transfer system model based on conjugal gene transfer called trans-kingdom conjugation (TKC) from the prokaryote Escherichia coli to the eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and assessed whether and to what extent genetic variations in the eukaryotic recipient affect its receptivity to TKC. Strains from a collection of 4,823 knock-out mutants of S. cerevisiae MAT-α haploids were tested for their individual TKC receptivity. Two types of mutants, an ssd1 mutant and respiratory mutants, which are also found in experimental strains and in nature widely, were identified as highly receptive mutants. The TKC efficiency for spontaneously accrued petite (rho−/0) mutants of the functional allele (SSD1-V) strain showed increased receptivity. The TKC efficiency of the ssd1Δ mutant was 36% for bacterial conjugation, while that of the petite/ssd1Δ double mutants was even higher (220% in average) compared to bacterial conjugation. This increased TKC receptivity was also observed when other conjugal transfer systems were applied and the donor bacterium was changed to Agrobacterium tumefaciens. These results support the idea that the genomes of certain eukaryotes have been exposed to exogenous DNA more frequently and continuously than previously thought. PMID:24058593

  1. 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.

  2. Endosymbiosis in trypanosomatids: the genomic cooperation between bacterium and host in the synthesis of essential amino acids is heavily influenced by multiple horizontal gene transfers

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Trypanosomatids of the genera Angomonas and Strigomonas live in a mutualistic association characterized by extensive metabolic cooperation with obligate endosymbiotic Betaproteobacteria. However, the role played by the symbiont has been more guessed by indirect means than evidenced. Symbiont-harboring trypanosomatids, in contrast to their counterparts lacking symbionts, exhibit lower nutritional requirements and are autotrophic for essential amino acids. To evidence the symbiont’s contributions to this autotrophy, entire genomes of symbionts and trypanosomatids with and without symbionts were sequenced here. Results Analyses of the essential amino acid pathways revealed that most biosynthetic routes are in the symbiont genome. By contrast, the host trypanosomatid genome contains fewer genes, about half of which originated from different bacterial groups, perhaps only one of which (ornithine cyclodeaminase, EC:4.3.1.12) derived from the symbiont. Nutritional, enzymatic, and genomic data were jointly analyzed to construct an integrated view of essential amino acid metabolism in symbiont-harboring trypanosomatids. This comprehensive analysis showed perfect concordance among all these data, and revealed that the symbiont contains genes for enzymes that complete essential biosynthetic routes for the host amino acid production, thus explaining the low requirement for these elements in symbiont-harboring trypanosomatids. Phylogenetic analyses show that the cooperation between symbionts and their hosts is complemented by multiple horizontal gene transfers, from bacterial lineages to trypanosomatids, that occurred several times in the course of their evolution. Transfers occur preferentially in parts of the pathways that are missing from other eukaryotes. Conclusion We have herein uncovered the genetic and evolutionary bases of essential amino acid biosynthesis in several trypanosomatids with and without endosymbionts, explaining and complementing decades of

  3. Phylogeny of nodulation and nitrogen-fixation genes in Bradyrhizobium: supporting evidence for the theory of monophyletic origin, and spread and maintenance by both horizontal and vertical transfer.

    PubMed

    Menna, Pâmela; Hungria, Mariangela

    2011-12-01

    Bacteria belonging to the genus Bradyrhizobium are capable of establishing symbiotic relationships with a broad range of plants belonging to the three subfamilies of the family Leguminosae (=Fabaceae), with the formation of specialized structures on the roots called nodules, where fixation of atmospheric nitrogen takes place. Symbiosis is under the control of finely tuned expression of common and host-specific nodulation genes and also of genes related to the assembly and activity of the nitrogenase, which, in Bradyrhizobium strains investigated so far, are clustered in a symbiotic island. Information about the diversity of these genes is essential to improve our current poor understanding of their origin, spread and maintenance and, in this study, we provide information on 40 Bradyrhizobium strains, mostly of tropical origin. For the nodulation trait, common (nodA), Bradyrhizobium-specific (nodY/K) and host-specific (nodZ) nodulation genes were studied, whereas for fixation ability, the diversity of nifH was investigated. In general, clustering of strains in all nod and nifH trees was similar and the Bradyrhizobium group could be clearly separated from other rhizobial genera. However, the congruence of nod and nif genes with ribosomal and housekeeping genes was low. nodA and nodY/K were not detected in three strains by amplification or hybridization with probes using Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Bradyrhizobium elkanii type strains, indicating the high diversity of these genes or that strains other than photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium must have alternative mechanisms to initiate the process of nodulation. For a large group of strains, the high diversity of nod genes (with an emphasis on nodZ), the low relationship between nod genes and the host legume, and some evidence of horizontal gene transfer might indicate strategies to increase host range. On the other hand, in a group of five symbionts of Acacia mearnsii, the high congruence between nod and ribosomal

  4. Horizontal gene transfer and functional diversification of plant cell wall degrading polygalacturonases: Key events in the evolution of herbivory in beetles.

    PubMed

    Kirsch, Roy; Gramzow, Lydia; Theißen, Günter; Siegfried, Blair D; Ffrench-Constant, Richard H; Heckel, David G; Pauchet, Yannick

    2014-09-01

    Plant cell walls are the largest reservoir of organic carbon on earth. To breach and utilize this carbohydrate-rich protective barrier, microbes secrete plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs) targeting pectin, cellulose and hemicelluloses. There is a growing body of evidence that genomes of some herbivorous insects also encode PCWDEs, raising questions about their evolutionary origins and functions. Among herbivorous beetles, pectin-degrading polygalacturonases (PGs) are found in the diverse superfamilies Chrysomeloidea (leaf beetles, long-horn beetles) and Curculionoidea (weevils). Here our aim was to test whether these arose from a common ancestor of beetles or via horizontal gene transfer (HGT), and whether PGs kept their ancestral function in degrading pectin or evolved novel functions. Transcriptome data derived from 10 beetle species were screened for PG-encoding sequences and used for phylogenetic comparisons with their bacterial, fungal and plant counterparts. These analyses revealed a large family of PG-encoding genes of Chrysomeloidea and Curculionoidea sharing a common ancestor, most similar to PG genes of ascomycete fungi. In addition, 50 PGs from beetle digestive systems were heterologously expressed and functionally characterized, showing a set of lineage-specific consecutively pectin-degrading enzymes, as well as conserved but enzymatically inactive PG proteins. The evidence indicates that a PG gene was horizontally transferred ∼200 million years ago from an ascomycete fungus to a common ancestor of Chrysomeloidea and Curculionoidea. This has been followed by independent duplications in these two lineages, as well as independent replacement in two sublineages of Chrysomeloidea by two other subsequent HGTs. This origin, leading to subsequent functional diversification of the PG gene family within its new hosts, was a key event promoting the evolution of herbivory in these beetles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among gram negative bacteria in sewage and lake water and influence of some physico-chemical parameters of water on conjugation process.

    PubMed

    Shakibaie, M R; Jalilzadeh, K A; Yamakanamardi, S M

    2009-01-01

    Transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among gram negative bacteria in sewage and lake water and easy access of these bacteria to the community are major environmental and public health concern. The aim of this study was to determine transfer of the antimicrobial resistance genes from resistant to susceptible gram negative bacteria in the sewage and lake water by conjugation process and to determine the influence of some physico-chemical parameters of sewage and lake water on the transfer of these resistance genes. For this reason, we isolated 20 liter of each sewage and lake water from coconut area within university campus and Lingambudi lake respectively in Mysore city, India, during monsoon season and studied different physical parameters of the water samples like pH, temperature, conductivity turbidity and color as well as chemical parameters like BOD, COD, field DO and total chloride ion. The gram negative bacteria were isolated and identified from the above water samples using microbiological and biochemical methods and their sensitivity to different antibiotics was determined by disc diffusion break point assay. Conjugation between two multiple antibiotic resistant isolates Pseudomonas aeuginosa and E. coli as donor and E. coli Rif(r) (sensitive to antibiotics) as recipient were carried out in 5ml sterile sewage and lake water. All isolates were resistant to Am, moderately resistant to Te and E, while majority were sensitive to Cip, Gm and CAZ antibiotics. Horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes by conjugation process revealed transfer of Gm, Te and E resistant genes from Ps. aeruginosa to E. coli Rif(r) recipient with mean frequency of +/- 2.3 x 10(-4) in sewage and +/- 2.6 x 10(-6) in lake water respectively Frequency of conjugation in sewage was two fold more as compared to lake water (p< or =0.05). Co- transfer study revealed simultaneous transfer of above resistant markers together to the recipient cells. As the above results indicate, due

  6. 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. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. Horizontal Transfer of phnAc Dioxygenase Genes within One of Two Phenotypically and Genotypically Distinctive Naphthalene-Degrading Guilds from Adjacent Soil Environments

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Mark S.; Herrick, James B.; Jeon, Che Ok; Hinman, David E.; Madsen, Eugene L.

    2003-01-01

    Several distinct naphthalene dioxygenases have been characterized to date, which provides the opportunity to investigate the ecological significance, relative distribution, and transmission modes of the different analogs. In this study, we showed that a group of naphthalene-degrading isolates from a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated hillside soil were phenotypically and genotypically distinct from naphthalene-degrading organisms isolated from adjacent, more highly contaminated seep sediments. Mineralization of 14C-labeled naphthalene by soil slurries suggested that the in situ seep community was more acclimated to PAHs than was the in situ hillside community. phnAc-like genes were present in diverse naphthalene-degrading isolates cultured from the hillside soil, while nahAc-like genes were found only among isolates cultured from the seep sediments. The presence of a highly conserved nahAc allele among gram-negative isolates from the coal tar-contaminated seep area provided evidence for in situ horizontal gene transfer and was reported previously (J. B. Herrick, K. G. Stuart-Keil, W. C. Ghiorse, and E. L. Madsen, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:2330-2337, 1997). Natural horizontal transfer of the phnAc sequence was also suggested by a comparison of the phnAc and 16S ribosomal DNA sequences of the hillside isolates. Analysis of metabolites produced by cell suspensions and patterns of amplicons produced by PCR analysis suggested both genetic and metabolic diversity among the naphthalene-degrading isolates of the contaminated hillside. These results provide new insights into the distribution, diversity, and transfer of phnAc alleles and increase our understanding of the acclimation of microbial communities to pollutants. PMID:12676698

  8. Multiple horizontal gene transfer events and domain fusions have created novel regulatory and metabolic networks in the oomycete genome.

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-02

    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

  9. 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

  10. Nematode-derived drosomycin-type antifungal peptides provide evidence for plant-to-ecdysozoan horizontal transfer of a disease resistance gene.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shunyi; Gao, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Drosomycin-type antifungal peptides (DTAFPs) are key innate immunity components of Drosophila and plants and confer resistance to fungal infection. Here we report the discovery of a multigene family of DTAFPs, comprising of 15 members (termed cremycin-1 to crymycin-15), in the fruit nematode Caenorhabditis remanei. Cremycins share highly similar amino-acid sequences and identical precursor organization to drosomycins. Of the 15 cremycin genes, 10 are found to be transcriptionally active and 6 are upregulated after fungal challenge. Synthetic cremycin-5 is active on filamentous fungi and a series of clinical isolates of human pathogenic yeasts and exhibits low haemolysis and high serum stability. The specific distribution of DTAFPs in a clade of moulting animals (Ecdysozoa), including Arthropoda, Nematoda and Tardigrada, together with the widespread presence in plants but the absence in fungi and protozoans, provides evidence for horizontal transfer of a disease resistance gene between plants and ecdysozoans.

  11. 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

  12. The thermostable direct hemolysin gene (tdh) of Vibrio hollisae is dissimilar in prevalence to and phylogenetically distant from the tdh genes of other vibrios: implications in the horizontal transfer of the tdh gene.

    PubMed

    Nishibuchi, M; Janda, J M; Ezaki, T

    1996-01-01

    Vibrio hollisae strains isolated recently from patients in various locations were examined for the presence of the thermostable direct hemolysin gene (tdh) using nucleic acid hybridization and polymerase chain reaction assays. The results were consistent with the previous finding that all strains of V. hollisae carry the tdh gene. In contrast, the tdh gene has been detected in a minority of strains for other Vibrio species (V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae non-O1, and V. mimicus). Detailed phylogenetic analysis showed that the tdh genes of the non-V. hollisae species were very closely related to each other and that the tdh gene of V. hollisae was distantly related to the tdh genes of the non-V. hollisae species. These results and the proposed insertion sequence-mediated tdh transfer mechanism suggest that the tdh gene may have been maintained stably in V. hollisae and that the tdh genes of the non-V. hollisae species may have been involved in recent horizontal transfer.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-22

    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 (gyrA(C248T)), 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. Infection rates in hospital settings by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa clones have increased during the past decades, and serotype O12 is predominant among these epidemic strains. It is not known why the MDR phenotype is associated with serotype

  15. Gene cluster analysis method identifies horizontally transferred genes with high reliability and indicates that they provide the main mechanism of operon gain in 8 species of gamma-Proteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Homma, Keiichi; Fukuchi, Satoshi; Nakamura, Yoji; Gojobori, Takashi; Nishikawa, Ken

    2007-03-01

    The formation mechanism of operons remains unresolved: operons may form by rearrangements within a genome or by acquisition of genes from other species, that is, horizontal gene transfer (HGT). One hindrance to its elucidation is the unavailability of a method to accurately identify HGT, although it is generally considered to occur. It is critically important first to select horizontally transferred (HT) genes reliably and then to determine the extent to which HGT is involved in operon formation. For this purpose, we considered indels in terms of gene clusters instead of individual genes and chose candidates of HT genes in 8 species of Escherichia, Shigella, and Salmonella based on the minimization of indels. To select a benchmark set of positively HT genes against which we can evaluate the candidate set, we devised another procedure using intergenetic alignments. Comparison with the benchmark set demonstrated the absence of a significant number of false positives in the candidate set, showing the high reliability of the method. Analyses of Escherichia coli K-12 operons revealed that although approximately 20 operons were probably gained from the last common ancestor of the 8 gamma-proteobacteria, deletion of intervening genes accounts for the formation of no operons, whereas horizontal transfer expanded 2 operons and introduced 4 entire operons. Based on these observations and reasoning, we suggest that the main mechanism of operon gain is HGT rather than intragenomic rearrangements. We propose that genes with related essential functions tend to reside in conserved operons, whereas genes in nonconserved operons mostly confer slight advantage to the organisms and frequently undergo horizontal transfer and decay. HT genes constitute at least 5.5% of the genes in the 8 species and approximately 45% of which originate from other gamma-proteobacteria. Genes involved in viral functions and mobile and extrachromosomal element functions are HT more often than expected

  16. Evidence of Horizontal Transfer of Symbiotic Genes from a Bradyrhizobium japonicum Inoculant Strain to Indigenous Diazotrophs Sinorhizobium (Ensifer) fredii and Bradyrhizobium elkanii in a Brazilian Savannah Soil▿

    PubMed Central

    Barcellos, Fernando Gomes; Menna, Pâmela; da Silva Batista, Jesiane Stefânia; Hungria, Mariangela

    2007-01-01

    The importance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in the evolution and speciation of bacteria has been emphasized; however, most studies have focused on genes clustered in pathogenesis and very few on symbiosis islands. Both soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merrill) and compatible Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Bradyrhizobium elkanii strains are exotic to Brazil and have been massively introduced in the country since the early 1960s, occupying today about 45% of the cropped land. For the past 10 years, our group has obtained several isolates showing high diversity in morphological, physiological, genetic, and symbiotic properties in relation to the putative parental inoculant strains. In this study, parental strains and putative natural variants isolated from field-grown soybean nodules were genetically characterized in relation to conserved genes (by repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR using REP and BOX A1R primers, PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism, and sequencing of the 16SrRNA genes), nodulation, and N2-fixation genes (PCR-RFLP and sequencing of nodY-nodA, nodC, and nifH genes). Both genetic variability due to adaptation to the stressful environmental conditions of the Brazilian Cerrados and HGT events were confirmed. One strain (S 127) was identified as an indigenous B. elkanii strain that acquired a nodC gene from the inoculant B. japonicum. Another one (CPAC 402) was identified as an indigenous Sinorhizobium (Ensifer) fredii strain that received the whole symbiotic island from the B. japonicum inoculant strain and maintained an extra copy of the original nifH gene. The results highlight the strategies that bacteria may commonly use to obtain ecological advantages, such as the acquisition of genes to establish effective symbioses with an exotic host legume. PMID:17308185

  17. Evidence for horizontally transferred genes involved in the biosynthesis of vitamin B(1), B(5), and B(7) in Heterodera glycines.

    PubMed

    Craig, James P; Bekal, Sadia; Niblack, Terry; Domier, Leslie; Lambert, Kris N

    2009-12-01

    Heterodera glycines is a nematode that is highly adapted to manipulate and parasitize plant hosts. The molecular players involved in these interactions have only recently begun to be identified. Here, the sequencing of the second stage juvenile transcriptome, followed by a bioinformatic screen for novel genes, identified seven new genes involved in biosynthesis and salvage of vitamins B₁, B₅, and B₇. With no confirmed reports in the literature, each of these biosynthesis pathways is believed to have been lost in multicellular animals. However, eukaryotic-like introns in the genomic sequences of the genes confirmed eukaryotic origin and nematode-specific splice leaders found on five of the cDNAs confirmed their nematode origin. Two of the genes were found to be flanked by known nematode sequences and quantitative polymerase chain reactions on individual nematodes showed similar and consistent amplification between the vitamin B biosynthesis genes and other known H. glycines genes. This further confirmed their presence in the nematode genome. Similarity to bacterial sequences at the amino acid level suggested a prokaryotic ancestry and phylogenetic analysis of the genes supported a likely horizontal gene transfer event, suggesting H. glycines re-appropriated the genes from the prokaryotic kingdom. This finding complements the previous discovery of a vitamin B₆ biosynthesis pathway within the nematode. However, unlike the complete vitamin B₆ pathway, many of these vitamin B pathways appear to be missing the initial enzymes required for full de novo biosynthesis, suggesting that initial substrates in the pathways are obtained exogenously. These partial vitamin B biosynthesis enzymes have recently been identified in other single-celled eukaryotic parasites and on rhizobia symbiosis plasmids, indicating that they may play an important role in host-parasite interactions and survival within the plant environment.

  18. The protease inhibitor chagasin of Trypanosoma cruzi adopts an immunoglobulin-type fold and may have arisen by horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Rigden, D J; Monteiro, A C; Grossi de Sá, M F

    2001-08-24

    Chagasin, a protein from Trypanosoma cruzi, is the first member of a new family of tight binding cysteine protease inhibitors [Monteiro, A.C.S., Abrahamson, M., Lima, A.P.C., Vannier-Santos, M.A. and Scharfstein, J. (2001) J. Cell Sci., in press] [corrected]. Despite its lack of significant sequence identity with known proteins, convincing structural models, using variable light chain templates, could be constructed on the basis of threading results. Experimental support for the final structure came from inhibition data for overlapping oligopeptides spanning the chagasin sequence. Chagasin therefore exemplifies a new protease inhibitor structural class and a new natural use for an immunoglobulin-like domain. Limited sequence resemblance suggests that chagasin may represent the result of a rare horizontal gene transfer from host to parasite.

  19. 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

  20. 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Environmental Bacteriophages of the Emerging Enterobacterial Phytopathogen, Dickeya solani, Show Genomic Conservation and Capacity for Horizontal Gene Transfer between Their Bacterial Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Day, Andrew; Ahn, Jiyoon; Fang, Xinzhe; Salmond, George P. C.

    2017-01-01

    Dickeya solani is an economically important phytopathogen widespread in mainland Europe that can reduce potato crop yields by 25%. There are no effective environmentally-acceptable chemical systems available for diseases caused by Dickeya. Bacteriophages have been suggested for use in biocontrol of this pathogen in the field, and limited field trials have been conducted. To date only a small number of bacteriophages capable of infecting D. solani have been isolated and characterized, and so there is a need to expand the repertoire of phages that may have potential utility in phage therapy strategies. Here we describe 67 bacteriophages from environmental sources, the majority of which are members of the viral family Myoviridae. Full genomic sequencing of two isolates revealed a high degree of DNA identity with D. solani bacteriophages isolated in Europe in the past 5 years, suggesting a wide ecological distribution of this phage family. Transduction experiments showed that the majority of the new environmental bacteriophages are capable of facilitating efficient horizontal gene transfer. The possible risk of unintentional transfer of virulence or antibiotic resistance genes between hosts susceptible to transducing phages cautions against their environmental use for biocontrol, until specific phages are fully tested for transduction capabilities. PMID:28912766

  2. Environmental Bacteriophages of the Emerging Enterobacterial Phytopathogen, Dickeya solani, Show Genomic Conservation and Capacity for Horizontal Gene Transfer between Their Bacterial Hosts.

    PubMed

    Day, Andrew; Ahn, Jiyoon; Fang, Xinzhe; Salmond, George P C

    2017-01-01

    Dickeya solani is an economically important phytopathogen widespread in mainland Europe that can reduce potato crop yields by 25%. There are no effective environmentally-acceptable chemical systems available for diseases caused by Dickeya. Bacteriophages have been suggested for use in biocontrol of this pathogen in the field, and limited field trials have been conducted. To date only a small number of bacteriophages capable of infecting D. solani have been isolated and characterized, and so there is a need to expand the repertoire of phages that may have potential utility in phage therapy strategies. Here we describe 67 bacteriophages from environmental sources, the majority of which are members of the viral family Myoviridae. Full genomic sequencing of two isolates revealed a high degree of DNA identity with D. solani bacteriophages isolated in Europe in the past 5 years, suggesting a wide ecological distribution of this phage family. Transduction experiments showed that the majority of the new environmental bacteriophages are capable of facilitating efficient horizontal gene transfer. The possible risk of unintentional transfer of virulence or antibiotic resistance genes between hosts susceptible to transducing phages cautions against their environmental use for biocontrol, until specific phages are fully tested for transduction capabilities.

  3. Evolutionary Significance of Wolbachia-to-Animal Horizontal Gene Transfer: Female Sex Determination and the f Element in the Isopod Armadillidium vulgare

    PubMed Central

    Cordaux, Richard; Gilbert, Clément

    2017-01-01

    An increasing number of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events from bacteria to animals have been reported in the past years, many of which involve Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts and their invertebrate hosts. Most transferred Wolbachia genes are neutrally-evolving fossils embedded in host genomes. A remarkable case of Wolbachia HGT for which a clear evolutionary significance has been demonstrated is the “f element”, a nuclear Wolbachia insert involved in female sex determination in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare. The f element represents an instance of bacteria-to-animal HGT that has occurred so recently that it was possible to infer the donor (feminizing Wolbachia closely related to the wVulC Wolbachia strain of A. vulgare) and the mechanism of integration (a nearly complete genome inserted by micro-homology-mediated recombination). In this review, we summarize our current knowledge of the f element and discuss arising perspectives regarding female sex determination, unstable inheritance, population dynamics and the molecular evolution of the f element. Overall, the f element unifies three major areas in evolutionary biology: symbiosis, HGT and sex determination. Its characterization highlights the tremendous impact sex ratio distorters can have on the evolution of sex determination mechanisms and sex chromosomes in animals and plants. PMID:28753988

  4. Acquisition of the capsule locus by horizontal gene transfer in Neisseria meningitidis is often accompanied by the loss of UDP-GalNAc synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Bartley, Stephanie N.; Mowlaboccus, Shakeel; Mullally, Christopher A.; Stubbs, Keith A.; Vrielink, Alice; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Harrison, Odile B.; Perkins, Timothy T.; Kahler, Charlene M.

    2017-01-01

    Pathogenic meningococci have acquired a 24 kb capsule synthesis island (cps) by horizontal gene transfer which consists of a synthetic locus and associated capsule transport genes flanked by repetitive Regions D and D’. Regions D and D’ contain an intact gene encoding a UDP-galactose epimerase (galE1) and a truncated remnant (galE2), respectively. In this study, GalE protein alleles were shown to be either mono-functional, synthesising UDP-galactose (UDP-Gal), or bi-functional, synthesising UDP-Gal and UDP-galactosamine (UDP-GalNAc). Meningococci possessing a capsule null locus (cnl) typically possessed a single bi-functional galE. Separation of functionality between galE1 and galE2 alleles in meningococcal isolates was retained for all serogroups except serogroup E which has a synthetic requirement for UDP-GalNAc. The truncated galE2 remnant in Region D’ was also phylogenetically related to the bi-functional galE of the cnl locus suggesting common ancestry. A model is proposed in which the illegitimate recombination of the cps island into the galE allele of the cnl locus results in the formation of Region D’ containing the truncated galE2 locus and the capture of the cps island en bloc. The retention of the duplicated Regions D and D’ enables inversion of the synthetic locus within the cps island during bacterial growth. PMID:28290510

  5. Speciation and ecological success in dimly lit waters: horizontal gene transfer in a green sulfur bacteria bloom unveiled by metagenomic assembly.

    PubMed

    Llorens-Marès, Tomàs; Liu, Zhenfeng; Allen, Lisa Zeigler; Rusch, Douglas B; Craig, Matthew T; Dupont, Chris L; Bryant, Donald A; Casamayor, Emilio O

    2017-01-01

    A natural planktonic bloom of a brown-pigmented photosynthetic green sulfur bacteria (GSB) from the disphotic zone of karstic Lake Banyoles (NE Spain) was studied as a natural enrichment culture from which a nearly complete genome was obtained after metagenomic assembly. We showed in situ a case where horizontal gene transfer (HGT) explained the ecological success of a natural population unveiling ecosystem-specific adaptations. The uncultured brown-pigmented GSB was 99.7% identical in the 16S rRNA gene sequence to its green-pigmented cultured counterpart Chlorobium luteolum DSM 273(T). Several differences were detected for ferrous iron acquisition potential, ATP synthesis and gas vesicle formation, although the most striking trait was related to pigment biosynthesis strategy. Chl. luteolum DSM 273(T) synthesizes bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) c, whereas Chl. luteolum CIII incorporated by HGT a 18-kbp cluster with the genes needed for BChl e and specific carotenoids biosynthesis that provided ecophysiological advantages to successfully colonize the dimly lit waters. We also genomically characterized what we believe to be the first described GSB phage, which based on the metagenomic coverage was likely in an active state of lytic infection. Overall, we observed spread HGT and we unveiled clear evidence for virus-mediated HGT in a natural population of photosynthetic GSB.

  6. Genome analysis of Elysia chlorotica Egg DNA provides no evidence for horizontal gene transfer into the germ line of this Kleptoplastic Mollusc.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Debashish; Pelletreau, Karen N; Price, Dana C; Sarver, Kara E; Rumpho, Mary E

    2013-08-01

    The sea slug Elysia chlorotica offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of a novel function (photosynthesis) in a complex multicellular host. Elysia chlorotica harvests plastids (absent of nuclei) from its heterokont algal prey, Vaucheria litorea. The "stolen" plastids are maintained for several months in cells of the digestive tract and are essential for animal development. The basis of long-term maintenance of photosynthesis in this sea slug was thought to be explained by extensive horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from the nucleus of the alga to the animal nucleus, followed by expression of algal genes in the gut to provide essential plastid-destined proteins. Early studies of target genes and proteins supported the HGT hypothesis, but more recent genome-wide data provide conflicting results. Here, we generated significant genome data from the E. chlorotica germ line (egg DNA) and from V. litorea to test the HGT hypothesis. Our comprehensive analyses fail to provide evidence for alga-derived HGT into the germ line of the sea slug. Polymerase chain reaction analyses of genomic DNA and cDNA from different individual E. chlorotica suggest, however, that algal nuclear genes (or gene fragments) are present in the adult slug. We suggest that these nucleic acids may derive from and/or reside in extrachromosomal DNAs that are made available to the animal through contact with the alga. These data resolve a long-standing issue and suggest that HGT is not the primary reason underlying long-term maintenance of photosynthesis in E. chlorotica. Therefore, sea slug photosynthesis is sustained in as yet unexplained ways that do not appear to endanger the animal germ line through the introduction of dozens of foreign genes.

  7. Genome Analysis of Elysia chlorotica Egg DNA Provides No Evidence for Horizontal Gene Transfer into the Germ Line of This Kleptoplastic Mollusc

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Debashish; Pelletreau, Karen N.; Price, Dana C.; Sarver, Kara E.; Rumpho, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The sea slug Elysia chlorotica offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of a novel function (photosynthesis) in a complex multicellular host. Elysia chlorotica harvests plastids (absent of nuclei) from its heterokont algal prey, Vaucheria litorea. The “stolen” plastids are maintained for several months in cells of the digestive tract and are essential for animal development. The basis of long-term maintenance of photosynthesis in this sea slug was thought to be explained by extensive horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from the nucleus of the alga to the animal nucleus, followed by expression of algal genes in the gut to provide essential plastid-destined proteins. Early studies of target genes and proteins supported the HGT hypothesis, but more recent genome-wide data provide conflicting results. Here, we generated significant genome data from the E. chlorotica germ line (egg DNA) and from V. litorea to test the HGT hypothesis. Our comprehensive analyses fail to provide evidence for alga-derived HGT into the germ line of the sea slug. Polymerase chain reaction analyses of genomic DNA and cDNA from different individual E. chlorotica suggest, however, that algal nuclear genes (or gene fragments) are present in the adult slug. We suggest that these nucleic acids may derive from and/or reside in extrachromosomal DNAs that are made available to the animal through contact with the alga. These data resolve a long-standing issue and suggest that HGT is not the primary reason underlying long-term maintenance of photosynthesis in E. chlorotica. Therefore, sea slug photosynthesis is sustained in as yet unexplained ways that do not appear to endanger the animal germ line through the introduction of dozens of foreign genes. PMID:23645554

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Horizontal gene transfer in Histophilus somni and its role in the evolution of pathogenic strain 2336, as determined by comparative genomic analyses

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    ancestor. Conclusions Since the genome of strain 129Pt was ~256,000 bp smaller than that of strain 2336, these genomes provide yet another paradigm for studying evolutionary gene loss and/or gain in regard to virulence repertoire and pathogenic ability. Analyses of the complete genome sequences revealed that bacteriophage- and transposon-mediated horizontal gene transfer had occurred at several loci in the chromosomes of strains 2336 and 129Pt. It appears that these mobile genetic elements have played a major role in creating genomic diversity and phenotypic variability among the two H. somni strains. PMID:22111657

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. Multiple Horizontal Gene Transfers of Ammonium Transporters/Ammonia Permeases from Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes: Toward a New Functional and Evolutionary Classification

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Tami R.; Dietrich, Fred S.; Lutzoni, François

    2012-01-01

    The proteins of the ammonium transporter/methylammonium permease/Rhesus factor family (AMT/MEP/Rh family) are responsible for the movement of ammonia or ammonium ions across the cell membrane. Although it has been established that the Rh proteins are distantly related to the other members of the family, the evolutionary history of the AMT/MEP/Rh family remains unclear. Here, we use phylogenetic analysis to infer the evolutionary history of this family of proteins across 191 genomes representing all main lineages of life and to provide a new classification of the proteins in this family. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that what has heretofore been conceived of as a protein family with two clades (AMT/MEP and Rh) is instead a protein family with three clades (AMT, MEP, and Rh). We show that the AMT/MEP/Rh family illustrates two contrasting modes of gene transmission: The AMT family as defined here exhibits vertical gene transfer (i.e., standard parent-to-offspring inheritance), whereas the MEP family as defined here is characterized by several ancient independent horizontal gene transfers (HGTs). These ancient HGT events include a gene replacement during the early evolution of the fungi, which could be a defining trait for the kingdom Fungi, a gene gain from hyperthermophilic chemoautolithotrophic prokaryotes during the early evolution of land plants (Embryophyta), and an independent gain of this same gene in the filamentous ascomycetes (Pezizomycotina) that was subsequently lost in most lineages but retained in even distantly related lichenized fungi. This recircumscription of the ammonium transporters/ammonia permeases family into MEP and AMT families informs the debate on the mechanism of transport in these proteins and on the nature of the transported molecule because published crystal structures of proteins from the MEP and Rh clades may not be representative of the AMT clade. The clades as depicted in this phylogenetic study appear to correspond to

  13. Multiple horizontal gene transfers of ammonium transporters/ammonia permeases from prokaryotes to eukaryotes: toward a new functional and evolutionary classification.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Tami R; Dietrich, Fred S; Lutzoni, François

    2012-01-01

    The proteins of the ammonium transporter/methylammonium permease/Rhesus factor family (AMT/MEP/Rh family) are responsible for the movement of ammonia or ammonium ions across the cell membrane. Although it has been established that the Rh proteins are distantly related to the other members of the family, the evolutionary history of the AMT/MEP/Rh family remains unclear. Here, we use phylogenetic analysis to infer the evolutionary history of this family of proteins across 191 genomes representing all main lineages of life and to provide a new classification of the proteins in this family. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that what has heretofore been conceived of as a protein family with two clades (AMT/MEP and Rh) is instead a protein family with three clades (AMT, MEP, and Rh). We show that the AMT/MEP/Rh family illustrates two contrasting modes of gene transmission: The AMT family as defined here exhibits vertical gene transfer (i.e., standard parent-to-offspring inheritance), whereas the MEP family as defined here is characterized by several ancient independent horizontal gene transfers (HGTs). These ancient HGT events include a gene replacement during the early evolution of the fungi, which could be a defining trait for the kingdom Fungi, a gene gain from hyperthermophilic chemoautolithotrophic prokaryotes during the early evolution of land plants (Embryophyta), and an independent gain of this same gene in the filamentous ascomycetes (Pezizomycotina) that was subsequently lost in most lineages but retained in even distantly related lichenized fungi. This recircumscription of the ammonium transporters/ammonia permeases family into MEP and AMT families informs the debate on the mechanism of transport in these proteins and on the nature of the transported molecule because published crystal structures of proteins from the MEP and Rh clades may not be representative of the AMT clade. The clades as depicted in this phylogenetic study appear to correspond to

  14. Chloroplast DNA sequence of the green alga Oedogonium cardiacum (Chlorophyceae): Unique genome architecture, derived characters shared with the Chaetophorales and novel genes acquired through horizontal transfer

    PubMed Central

    Brouard, Jean-Simon; Otis, Christian; Lemieux, Claude; Turmel, Monique

    2008-01-01

    include the retention of psaM, rpl32 and trnL(caa), the loss of petA, the disruption of three ancestral clusters and the presence of five derived gene clusters. Conclusion The Oedogonium chloroplast genome disclosed additional characters that bolster the evidence for a close alliance between the Oedogoniales and Chaetophorales. Our unprecedented finding of int and dpoB in this cpDNA provides a clear example that novel genes were acquired by the chloroplast genome through horizontal transfers, possibly from a mitochondrial genome donor. PMID:18558012

  15. Experimental Horizontal Gene Transfer of Methylamine Dehydrogenase Mimics Prevalent Exchange in Nature and Overcomes the Methylamine Growth Constraints Posed by the Sub-Optimal N-Methylglutamate Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Nayak, Dipti D.; Marx, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Methylamine plays an important role in the global carbon and nitrogen budget; microorganisms that grow on reduced single carbon compounds, methylotrophs, serve as a major biological sink for methylamine in aerobic environments. Two non-orthologous, functionally degenerate routes for methylamine oxidation have been studied in methylotrophic Proteobacteria: Methylamine dehydrogenase and the N-methylglutamate pathway. Recent work suggests the N-methylglutamate (NMG) pathway may be more common in nature than the well-studied methylamine dehydrogenase (MaDH, encoded by the mau gene cluster). However, the distribution of these pathways across methylotrophs has never been analyzed. Furthermore, even though horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is commonly invoked as a means to transfer these pathways between strains, the physiological barriers to doing so have not been investigated. We found that the NMG pathway is both more abundant and more universally distributed across methylotrophic Proteobacteria compared to MaDH, which displays a patchy distribution and has clearly been transmitted by HGT even amongst very closely related strains. This trend was especially prominent in well-characterized strains of the Methylobacterium extroquens species, which also display significant phenotypic variability during methylamine growth. Strains like Methylobacterium extorquens PA1 that only encode the NMG pathway grew on methylamine at least five-fold slower than strains like Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 that also possess the mau gene cluster. By mimicking a HGT event through the introduction of the M. extorquens AM1 mau gene cluster into the PA1 genome, the resulting strain instantaneously achieved a 4.5-fold increase in growth rate on methylamine and a 11-fold increase in fitness on methylamine, which even surpassed the fitness of M. extorquens AM1. In contrast, when three replicate populations of wild type M. extorquens PA1 were evolved on methylamine as the sole carbon and energy

  16. Edible Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Rice T1C-1 for Sprague Dawley Rats through Horizontal Gene Transfer, Allergenicity and Intestinal Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Kai; Ren, Fangfang; Han, Fangting; Liu, Qiwen; Wu, Guogan; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Jian; Wu, Xiao; Wang, Jinbin; Li, Peng; Shi, Wei; Zhu, Hong; Lv, Jianjun; Zhao, Xiao; Tang, Xueming

    2016-01-01

    In this study, assessment of the safety of transgenic rice T1C-1 expressing Cry1C was carried out by: (1) studying horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in Sprague Dawley rats fed transgenic rice for 90 d; (2) examining the effect of Cry1C protein in vitro on digestibility and allergenicity; and (3) studying the changes of intestinal microbiota in rats fed with transgenic rice T1C-1 in acute and subchronic toxicity tests. Sprague Dawley rats were fed a diet containing either 60% GM Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) rice T1C-1 expressing Cry1C protein, the parental rice Minghui 63, or a basic diet for 90 d. The GM Bt rice T1C-1 showed no evidence of HGT between rats and transgenic rice. Sequence searching of the Cry1C protein showed no homology with known allergens or toxins. Cry1C protein was rapidly degraded in vitro with simulated gastric and intestinal fluids. The expressed Cry1C protein did not induce high levels of specific IgG and IgE antibodies in rats. The intestinal microbiota of rats fed T1C-1 was also analyzed in acute and subchronic toxicity tests by DGGE. Cluster analysis of DGGE profiles revealed significant individual differences in the rats' intestinal microbiota. PMID:27706188

  17. The role of horizontal gene transfer in the dissemination of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates in an endemic setting

    PubMed Central

    Doi, Yohei; Adams-Haduch, Jennifer M.; Peleg, Anton Y.; D’Agata, Erika MC

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of horizontal gene transmission (HGT) in the emergence and spread of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing gram-negative bacteria during periods of endemicity is unclear. Over a 12-month period, rectal colonization with SHV-5 and SHV-12 producing-Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae was quantified among a cohort of residents in a long-term care facility. Demographic and clinical data were collected on colonized residents. Transferability of SHV-encoding plasmids and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was performed to quantify the contribution of HGT and cross-transmission, respectively. A total of 25 (12%) of 214 enrolled patients were colonized with 11 SHV-5- and 17 SVH-12-producing E. coli and K. pneumoniae. Clonally-related isolates were detected among multiple residents residing on the same and different wards. Among 12 clonally-distinct isolates, HGT of SHV-5- and SHV-12-encoding plasmids was identified among 6 (50%) isolates. HGT among clonally-distinct strains contributes to the transmission dynamics of these ESBL-producing gram-negative bacteria and should be considered when evaluating the spread of these pathogens. PMID:22722012

  18. Horizontal Gene Transfer of a ColV Plasmid Has Resulted in a Dominant Avian Clonal Type of Salmonella enterica Serovar Kentucky

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Timothy J.; Thorsness, Jessica L.; Anderson, Cole P.; Lynne, Aaron M.; Foley, Steven L.; Han, Jing; Fricke, W. Florian; McDermott, Patrick F.; White, David G.; Khatri, Mahesh; Stell, Adam L.; Flores, Cristian; Singer, Randall S.

    2010-01-01

    Salmonella enterica continues to be a significant cause of foodborne gastrointestinal illness in humans. A wide variety of Salmonella serovars have been isolated from production birds and from retail poultry meat. Recently, though, S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Kentucky has emerged as one of the prominent Salmonella serovars isolated from broiler chickens. Recent work suggests that its emergence apparently coincides with its acquisition of a ColV virulence plasmid. In the present study, we examined 902 Salmonella isolates belonging to 59 different serovars for the presence of this plasmid. Of the serovars examined, the ColV plasmid was found only among isolates belonging to the serovars Kentucky (72.9%), Typhimurium (15.0%) and Heidelberg (1.7%). We demonstrated that a single PFGE clonal type of S. Kentucky harbors this plasmid, and acquisition of this plasmid by S. Kentucky significantly increased its ability to colonize the chicken cecum and cause extraintestinal disease. Comparison of the completed sequences of three ColV plasmids from S. Kentucky isolated from different geographical locales, timepoints and sources revealed a nearly identical genetic structure with few single nucleotide changes or insertions/deletions. Overall, it appears that the ColV plasmid was recently acquired by a single clonal type S. Kentucky and confers to its host enhanced colonization and fitness capabilities. Thus, the potential for horizontal gene transfer of virulence and fitness factors to Salmonella from other enteric bacteria exists in poultry, representing a potential human health hazard. PMID:21203520

  19. An inter-order horizontal gene transfer event enables the catabolism of compatible solutes by Colwellia psychrerythraea 34H.

    PubMed

    Collins, R Eric; Deming, Jody W

    2013-07-01

    Colwellia is a genus of mostly psychrophilic halophilic Gammaproteobacteria frequently isolated from polar marine sediments and sea ice. In exploring the capacity of Colwellia psychrerythraea 34H to survive and grow in the liquid brines of sea ice, we detected a duplicated 37 kbp genomic island in its genome based on the abnormally high G + C content. This island contains an operon encoding for heterotetrameric sarcosine oxidase and is located adjacent to several genes used in the serial demethylation of glycine betaine, a compatible solute commonly used for osmoregulation, to dimethylglycine, sarcosine, and glycine. Molecular clock inferences of important events in the adaptation of C. psychrerythraea 34H to compatible solute utilization reflect the geological evolution of the polar regions. Validating genomic predictions, C. psychrerythraea 34H was shown to grow on defined media containing either choline or glycine betaine, and on a medium with sarcosine as the sole organic source of carbon and nitrogen. Growth by 8 of 9 tested Colwellia species on a newly developed sarcosine-based defined medium suggested that the ability to catabolize glycine betaine (the catabolic precursor of sarcosine) is likely widespread in the genus Colwellia. This capacity likely provides a selective advantage to Colwellia species in cold, salty environments like sea ice, and may have contributed to the ability of Colwellia to invade these extreme niches.

  20. The genome of Polaromonas naphthalenivorans strain CJ2, isolated from coal tar-contaminated sediment, reveals physiological and metabolic versatility and evolution through extensive horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Yagi, Jane M; Sims, David; Brettin, Thomas; Bruce, David; Madsen, Eugene L

    2009-09-01

    We analysed the genome of the aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading, facultatively chemolithotrophic betaproteobacterium, Polaromonas naphthalenivorans strain CJ2. Recent work has increasingly shown that Polaromonas species are prevalent in a variety of pristine oligotrophic environments, as well as polluted habitats. Besides a circular chromosome of 4.4 Mb, strain CJ2 carries eight plasmids ranging from 353 to 6.4 kb in size. Overall, the genome is predicted to encode 4929 proteins. Comparisons of DNA sequences at the individual gene, gene cluster and whole-genome scales revealed strong trends in shared heredity between strain CJ2 and other members of the Comamonadaceae and Burkholderiaceae. blastp analyses of protein coding sequences across strain CJ2's genome showed that genetic commonalities with other betaproteobacteria diminished significantly in strain CJ2's plasmids compared with the chromosome, especially for the smallest ones. Broad trends in nucleotide characteristics (GC content, GC skew, Karlin signature difference) showed at least six anomalous regions in the chromosome, indicating alteration of genome architecture via horizontal gene transfer. Detailed analysis of one of these anomalous regions (96 kb in size, containing the nag-like naphthalene catabolic operon) indicates that the fragment's insertion site was within a putative MiaB-like tRNA-modifying enzyme coding sequence. The mosaic nature of strain CJ2's genome was further emphasized by the presence of 309 mobile genetic elements scattered throughout the genome, including 131 predicted transposase genes, 178 phage-related genes, and representatives of 12 families of insertion elements. A total of three different terminal oxidase genes were found (putative cytochrome aa(3)-type oxidase, cytochrome cbb(3)-type oxidase and cytochrome bd-type quinol oxidase), suggesting adaptation by strain CJ2 to variable aerobic and microaerobic conditions. Sequence-suggested abilities of strain CJ2 to carry out

  1. PCR Primer Design for 16S rRNAs for Experimental Horizontal Gene Transfer Test in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Kentaro; Sato, Mitsuharu; Tsukuda, Miyuki

    2017-01-01

    We recently demonstrated that the Escherichia coli ribosome is robust enough to accommodate foreign 16S rRNAs from diverse gamma- and betaproteobacteria bacteria (Kitahara et al., 2012). Therein, we used the common universal primers Bac8f and UN1541r to obtain a nearly full-length gene. However, we noticed that these primers overlap variable sites at 19[A/C] and 1527[U/C] in Bac8f and UN1541r, respectively, and thus, the amplicon could contain mutations. This is problematic, particularly for the former site, because the 19th nucleotide pairs with the 916th nucleotide, which is a part of the "central pseudoknot" and is critical for function. Therefore, we mutationally investigated the role of the base pair using several 16S rRNAs from gamma- and betaproteobacteria. We found that both the native base pairs (gammaproteobacterial 19A-916U and betaproteobacterial 19C-916G) and the non-native 19A-916G pair retained function, whereas the non-native 19C-916U was defective 16S rRNAs. We next designed a new primer set, Bac1f and UN1542r, so that they do not overlap the potential mismatch sites. 16S rRNA amplicons obtained from the environmental metagenome using the new primer set were dominated by proteobacterial species (~85%). Subsequent functional screening identified various 16S rRNAs from proteobacteria, all of which contained native 19A-916U or 19C-916G base pairs. The primers developed in this study are thus advantageous for functional characterization of foreign 16S rRNA in E. coli with no artifacts.

  2. PCR Primer Design for 16S rRNAs for Experimental Horizontal Gene Transfer Test in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Miyazaki, Kentaro; Sato, Mitsuharu; Tsukuda, Miyuki

    2017-01-01

    We recently demonstrated that the Escherichia coli ribosome is robust enough to accommodate foreign 16S rRNAs from diverse gamma- and betaproteobacteria bacteria (Kitahara et al., 2012). Therein, we used the common universal primers Bac8f and UN1541r to obtain a nearly full-length gene. However, we noticed that these primers overlap variable sites at 19[A/C] and 1527[U/C] in Bac8f and UN1541r, respectively, and thus, the amplicon could contain mutations. This is problematic, particularly for the former site, because the 19th nucleotide pairs with the 916th nucleotide, which is a part of the “central pseudoknot” and is critical for function. Therefore, we mutationally investigated the role of the base pair using several 16S rRNAs from gamma- and betaproteobacteria. We found that both the native base pairs (gammaproteobacterial 19A–916U and betaproteobacterial 19C–916G) and the non-native 19A–916G pair retained function, whereas the non-native 19C–916U was defective 16S rRNAs. We next designed a new primer set, Bac1f and UN1542r, so that they do not overlap the potential mismatch sites. 16S rRNA amplicons obtained from the environmental metagenome using the new primer set were dominated by proteobacterial species (~85%). Subsequent functional screening identified various 16S rRNAs from proteobacteria, all of which contained native 19A–916U or 19C–916G base pairs. The primers developed in this study are thus advantageous for functional characterization of foreign 16S rRNA in E. coli with no artifacts. PMID:28293553

  3. Horizontal gene transfer of a chloroplast DnaJ-Fer protein to Thaumarchaeota and the evolutionary history of the DnaK chaperone system in Archaea.

    PubMed

    Petitjean, Céline; Moreira, David; López-García, Purificación; Brochier-Armanet, Céline

    2012-11-26

    In 2004, we discovered an atypical protein in metagenomic data from marine thaumarchaeotal species. This protein, referred as DnaJ-Fer, is composed of a J domain fused to a Ferredoxin (Fer) domain. Surprisingly, the same protein was also found in Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). Because J domain-containing proteins are known to interact with the major chaperone DnaK/Hsp70, this suggested that a DnaK protein was present in Thaumarchaeota. DnaK/Hsp70, its co-chaperone DnaJ and the nucleotide exchange factor GrpE are involved, among others, in heat shocks and heavy metal cellular stress responses. Using phylogenomic approaches we have investigated the evolutionary history of the DnaJ-Fer protein and of interacting proteins DnaK, DnaJ and GrpE in Thaumarchaeota. These proteins have very complex histories, involving several inter-domain horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) to explain the contemporary distribution of these proteins in archaea. These transfers include one from Cyanobacteria to Viridiplantae and one from Viridiplantae to Thaumarchaeota for the DnaJ-Fer protein, as well as independent HGTs from Bacteria to mesophilic archaea for the DnaK/DnaJ/GrpE system, followed by HGTs among mesophilic and thermophilic archaea. We highlight the chimerical origin of the set of proteins DnaK, DnaJ, GrpE and DnaJ-Fer in Thaumarchaeota and suggest that the HGT of these proteins has played an important role in the adaptation of several archaeal groups to mesophilic and thermophilic environments from hyperthermophilic ancestors. Finally, the evolutionary history of DnaJ-Fer provides information useful for the relative dating of the diversification of Archaeplastida and Thaumarchaeota.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Genome-wide analyses of chitin synthases identify horizontal gene transfers towards bacteria and allow a robust and unifying classification into fungi.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Isabelle R; Brouillet, Sophie; Soulié, Marie-Christine; Gribaldo, Simonetta; Sirven, Catherine; Charron, Noémie; Boccara, Martine; Choquer, Mathias

    2016-11-24

    Chitin, the second most abundant biopolymer on earth after cellulose, is found in probably all fungi, many animals (mainly invertebrates), several protists and a few algae, playing an essential role in the development of many of them. This polysaccharide is produced by type 2 glycosyltransferases, called chitin synthases (CHS). There are several contradictory classifications of CHS isoenzymes and, as regards their evolutionary history, their origin and diversity is still a matter of debate. A genome-wide analysis resulted in the detection of more than eight hundred putative chitin synthases in proteomes associated with about 130 genomes. Phylogenetic analyses were performed with special care to avoid any pitfalls associated with the peculiarities of these sequences (e.g. highly variable regions, truncated or recombined sequences, long-branch attraction). This allowed us to revise and unify the fungal CHS classification and to study the evolutionary history of the CHS multigenic family. This update has the advantage of being user-friendly due to the development of a dedicated website ( http://wwwabi.snv.jussieu.fr/public/CHSdb ), and it includes any correspondences with previously published classifications and mutants. Concerning the evolutionary history of CHS, this family has mainly evolved via duplications and losses. However, it is likely that several horizontal gene transfers (HGT) also occurred in eukaryotic microorganisms and, even more surprisingly, in bacteria. This comprehensive multi-species analysis contributes to the classification of fungal CHS, in particular by optimizing its robustness, consensuality and accessibility. It also highlights the importance of HGT in the evolutionary history of CHS and describes bacterial chs genes for the first time. Many of the bacteria that have acquired a chitin synthase are plant pathogens (e.g. Dickeya spp; Pectobacterium spp; Brenneria spp; Agrobacterium vitis and Pseudomonas cichorii). Whether they are able to

  7. Homology-dependent DNA transfer from plants to a soil bacterium under laboratory conditions: implications in evolution and horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Tepfer, David; Garcia-Gonzales, Rolando; Mansouri, Hounayda; Seruga, Martina; Message, Brigitte; Leach, Francesca; Perica, Mirna Curkovic

    2003-08-01

    DNA transfer was demonstrated from six species of donor plants to the soil bacterium, Acinetobacter spp. BD413, using neomycin phosphotransferase (nptII) as a marker for homologous recombination. These laboratory results are compatible with, but do not prove, DNA transfer in nature. In tobacco carrying a plastid insertion of nptII, transfer was detected with 0.1 g of disrupted leaves and in oilseed rape carrying a nuclear insertion with a similar quantity of roots. Transfer from disrupted leaves occurred in sterile soil and water, without the addition of nutrients. It was detected using intact tobacco leaves and intact tobacco and Arabidopsis plants in vitro. Transfer was dose-dependent and sensitive to DNase, and mutations in the plant nptII were recovered in receptor bacteria. DNA transfer using intact roots and plants in vitro was easily demonstrated, but with greater variability. Transfer varied with plant genome size and the number of repeats of the marker DNA in the donor plant. Transfer was not detected in the absence of a homologous nptII in the receptor bacteria. We discuss these results with reference to non-coding DNA in plant genomes (e.g., introns, transposons and junk DNA) and the possibility that DNA transfer could occur in nature.

  8. Horizontal gene transfer of atrazine-degrading genes (atz) from Agrobacterium tumefaciens St96-4 pADP1::Tn5 to bacteria of maize-cultivated soil.

    PubMed

    Devers, Marion; Henry, Sonia; Hartmann, Alain; Martin-Laurent, Fabrice

    2005-09-01

    The plasmid pADP1::Tn5 derived from pADP1[Atr+] carrying a Tn5 transposon conferring kanamycin and streptomycin resistances was constructed and introduced in Agrobacterium tumefaciens St96-4. This genetically modified strain was inoculated (approximately 10(8) cfu g(-1)) in potted soils planted with maize and treated or not with atrazine (1.5 mg kg(-1)). Bulk and maize rhizosphere soils were sampled 39 days after planting to look for soil indigenous bacteria that had acquired pADP1::Tn5. Four transconjugants were isolated from four different soil samples. The estimated transfer frequency of pADP1::Tn5 was 10(-4) per donor. Maize rhizosphere and atrazine treatment had no obvious effect on pADP1::Tn5 transfer frequency. The sequencing of the 16S rDNA sequences of the transconjugants revealed that they were almost identical and highly similar to that of Variovorax spp (97%). In addition, their characterization suggested that the atzA and atzB genes had been transferred from pADP1::Tn5 to the bacterial chromosome in two of the four transconjugants. These data suggest that the atz degrading genes are horizontally transferred in soil and possibly subjected to gene rearrangement.

  9. 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

  10. In vivo Acquisition of Carbapenemase Gene blaKPC-2 in Multiple Species of Enterobacteriaceae through Horizontal Transfer of Insertion Sequence or Plasmid.

    PubMed

    Ding, Baixing; Shen, Zhen; Hu, Fupin; Ye, Meiping; Xu, Xiaogang; Guo, Qinglan; Wang, Minggui

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Current worldwide spread of carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae constitutes a critical public health threat. This study aims to investigate how carbapenem resistance is acquired in Enterobacteriaceae in patients during antimicrobial therapy. Methods: Clinical strains from the same anatomical site of the same patients that converted from carbapenem-susceptible to resistant during antimicrobial therapy and showed identical or similar PFGE patterns were identified. The similarly sized plasmids carried by the susceptible and resistant strains, the latter containing the carbapenemase genes, were sequenced and analyzed. Results: Paired strains were identified from four patients: three had neurosurgical conditions while the other had acute exacerbation of COPD. Two pairs of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP1-S/R and KP2-S/R, S and R indicating susceptible and resistant strains, respectively), one pair of Morganella morganii (MM-S/R) and one pair of Enterobacter aerogenes (EA-S/R) were collected. All four carbapenem-resistant strains carried plasmids harboring blaKPC-2. Compared with the similarly sized plasmids in KP1-S and KP2-S, an insertion sequence that includes ISKpn6-like, blaKPC-2 and ISKpn8 was noted in pKP1-R and pKP2-R. Strains MM-R and EA-R had blaKPC-2-carrying plasmids not resembling plasmids in strains MM-S and EA-S suggesting their new acquisition while on therapy. Conclusions: Enterobacteriaceae can acquire carbapenem resistance during antimicrobial therapy through horizontal transfer of an insertion sequence or plasmid.

  11. In vivo Acquisition of Carbapenemase Gene blaKPC-2 in Multiple Species of Enterobacteriaceae through Horizontal Transfer of Insertion Sequence or Plasmid

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Baixing; Shen, Zhen; Hu, Fupin; Ye, Meiping; Xu, Xiaogang; Guo, Qinglan; Wang, Minggui

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Current worldwide spread of carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae constitutes a critical public health threat. This study aims to investigate how carbapenem resistance is acquired in Enterobacteriaceae in patients during antimicrobial therapy. Methods: Clinical strains from the same anatomical site of the same patients that converted from carbapenem-susceptible to resistant during antimicrobial therapy and showed identical or similar PFGE patterns were identified. The similarly sized plasmids carried by the susceptible and resistant strains, the latter containing the carbapenemase genes, were sequenced and analyzed. Results: Paired strains were identified from four patients: three had neurosurgical conditions while the other had acute exacerbation of COPD. Two pairs of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP1-S/R and KP2-S/R, S and R indicating susceptible and resistant strains, respectively), one pair of Morganella morganii (MM-S/R) and one pair of Enterobacter aerogenes (EA-S/R) were collected. All four carbapenem-resistant strains carried plasmids harboring blaKPC−2. Compared with the similarly sized plasmids in KP1-S and KP2-S, an insertion sequence that includes ISKpn6-like, blaKPC−2 and ISKpn8 was noted in pKP1-R and pKP2-R. Strains MM-R and EA-R had blaKPC−2-carrying plasmids not resembling plasmids in strains MM-S and EA-S suggesting their new acquisition while on therapy. Conclusions: Enterobacteriaceae can acquire carbapenem resistance during antimicrobial therapy through horizontal transfer of an insertion sequence or plasmid. PMID:27818649

  12. The ancestor of the Paulinella chromatophore obtained a carboxysomal operon by horizontal gene transfer from a Nitrococcus-like γ-proteobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Marin, Birger; Nowack, Eva CM; Glöckner, Gernot; Melkonian, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Background Paulinella chromatophora is a freshwater filose amoeba with photosynthetic endosymbionts (chromatophores) of cyanobacterial origin that are closely related to free-living Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus species (PS-clade). Members of the PS-clade of cyanobacteria contain a proteobacterial form 1A RubisCO (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) that was acquired by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of a carboxysomal operon. In rDNA-phylogenies, the Paulinella chromatophore diverged basal to the PS-clade, raising the question whether the HGT occurred before or after the split of the chromatophore ancestor. Results Phylogenetic analyses of the almost complete rDNA operon with an improved taxon sampling containing most known cyanobacterial lineages recovered the Paulinella chromatophore as sister to the complete PS-clade. The sequence of the complete carboxysomal operon of Paulinella was determined. Analysis of RubisCO large subunit (rbcL) sequences revealed that Paulinella shares the proteobacterial form 1A RubisCO with the PS-clade. The γ-proteobacterium Nitrococcus mobilis was identified as sister of the Paulinella chromatophore and the PS-clade in the RubisCO phylogeny. Gene content and order in the carboxysomal operon correlates well with the RubisCO phylogeny demonstrating that the complete carboxysomal operon was acquired by the common ancestor of the Paulinella chromatophore and the PS-clade through HGT. The carboxysomal operon shows a significantly elevated AT content in Paulinella, which in the rbcL gene is confined to third codon positions. Combined phylogenies using rbcL and the rDNA-operon resulted in a nearly fully resolved tree of the PS-clade. Conclusion The HGT of the carboxysomal operon predated the divergence of the chromatophore ancestor from the PS-clade. Following HGT and divergence of the chromatophore ancestor, diversification of the PS-clade into at least three subclades occurred. The γ-proteobacterium Nitrococcus mobilis

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Horizontally Acquired Genes Are Often Shared between Closely Related Bacterial Species.

    PubMed

    Bolotin, Evgeni; Hershberg, Ruth

    2017-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) serves as an important source of innovation for bacterial species. We used a pangenome-based approach to identify genes that were horizontally acquired by four closely related bacterial species, belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family. This enabled us to examine the extent to which such closely related species tend to share horizontally acquired genes. We find that a high percent of horizontally acquired genes are shared among these closely related species. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the extent of sharing of horizontally acquired genes among these four closely related species is predictive of the extent to which these genes will be found in additional bacterial species. Finally, we show that acquired genes shared by more species tend to be better optimized for expression within the genomes of their new hosts. Combined, our results demonstrate the existence of a large pool of frequently horizontally acquired genes that have distinct characteristics from horizontally acquired genes that are less frequently shared between species.

  17. 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.

  18. The Type I Restriction Enzymes as Barriers to Horizontal Gene Transfer: Determination of the DNA Target Sequences Recognised by Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clonal Complexes 133/ST771 and 398.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kai; Stephanou, Augoustinos S; Roberts, Gareth A; White, John H; Cooper, Laurie P; Houston, Patrick J; Lindsay, Jodi A; Dryden, David T F

    2016-01-01

    The Type I DNA restriction-modification (RM) systems of Staphylococcus aureus are known to act as a significant barrier to horizontal gene transfer between S. aureus strains belonging to different clonal complexes. The livestock-associated clonal complexes CC133/771 and CC398 contain Type I RM systems not found in human MRSA strains as yet but at some point transfer will occur. When this does take place, horizontal gene transfer of resistance will happen more easily between these strains. The reservoir of antibiotic resistance, virulence and host-adaptation genes present in livestock-associated MRSA will then potentially contribute to the development of newly evolving MRSA clones. The target sites recognised by the Type I RM systems of CC133/771 and CC398 were identified as CAG(N)5RTGA and ACC(N)5RTGA, respectively. Assuming that these enzymes recognise the methylation state of adenine, the underlined A and T bases indicate the unique positions of methylation. Target methylation points for enzymes from CC1 were also identified. The methylation points for CC1-1 are CCAY(N)5TTAA and those for CC1-2 are CCAY(N)6 TGT with the underline indicating the adenine methylation site thus clearing up the ambiguity noted previously (Roberts et al. 2013, Nucleic Acids Res 41:7472-7484) for the half sites containing two adenine bases.

  19. Effective use of a horizontally-transferred pathway for dichloromethane catabolism requires post–transfer refinement

    PubMed Central

    Michener, Joshua K; Camargo Neves, Aline A; Vuilleumier, Stéphane; Bringel, Françoise; Marx, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    When microbes acquire new abilities through horizontal gene transfer, the genes and pathways must function under conditions with which they did not coevolve. If newly-acquired genes burden the host, their utility will depend on further evolutionary refinement of the recombinant strain. We used laboratory evolution to recapitulate this process of transfer and refinement, demonstrating that effective use of an introduced dichloromethane degradation pathway required one of several mutations to the bacterial host that are predicted to increase chloride efflux. We then used this knowledge to identify parallel, beneficial mutations that independently evolved in two natural dichloromethane-degrading strains. Finally, we constructed a synthetic mobile genetic element carrying both the degradation pathway and a chloride exporter, which preempted the adaptive process and directly enabled effective dichloromethane degradation across diverse Methylobacterium environmental isolates. Our results demonstrate the importance of post–transfer refinement in horizontal gene transfer, with potential applications in bioremediation and synthetic biology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04279.001 PMID:25418043

  20. Rampant Horizontal Transfer of SPIN Transposons in Squamate Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Clément; Hernandez, Sharon S.; Flores-Benabib, Jaime; Smith, Eric N.; Feschotte, Cédric

    2012-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are highly abundant in the genome and capable of mobility, two properties that make them particularly prone to transfer horizontally between organisms. Although the impact of horizontal transfer (HT) of TEs is well recognized in prokaryotes, the frequency of this phenomenon and its contribution to genome evolution in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. Here, we provide evidence that a DNA transposon called SPIN has colonized the genome of 17 species of reptiles representing nearly every major lineage of squamates, including 14 families of lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians. Slot blot analyses indicate that SPIN has amplified to high copy numbers in most of these species, ranging from 2,000–28,000 copies per haploid genome. In contrast, we could not detect the presence of SPIN in any of the turtles (seven species from seven families) and crocodiles (four species) examined. Genetic distances between SPIN sequences from species belonging to different squamate families are consistently very low (average = 0.1), considering the deep evolutionary divergence of the families investigated (most are >100 My diverged). Furthermore, these distances fall below interfamilial distances calculated for two genes known to have evolved under strong functional constraint in vertebrates (RAG1, average = 0.24 and C-mos, average = 0.27). These data, combined with phylogenetic analyses, indicate that the widespread distribution of SPIN among squamates is the result of at least 13 independent events of HTs. Molecular dating and paleobiogeographical data suggest that these transfers took place during the last 50 My on at least three different continents (North America, South America and, Africa). Together, these results triple the number of known SPIN transfer events among tetrapods, provide evidence for a previously hypothesized transoceanic movement of SPIN transposons during the Cenozoic, and further underscore the role of HT in the evolution of

  1. Rampant horizontal transfer of SPIN transposons in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Clément; Hernandez, Sharon S; Flores-Benabib, Jaime; Smith, Eric N; Feschotte, Cédric

    2012-02-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are highly abundant in the genome and capable of mobility, two properties that make them particularly prone to transfer horizontally between organisms. Although the impact of horizontal transfer (HT) of TEs is well recognized in prokaryotes, the frequency of this phenomenon and its contribution to genome evolution in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. Here, we provide evidence that a DNA transposon called SPIN has colonized the genome of 17 species of reptiles representing nearly every major lineage of squamates, including 14 families of lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians. Slot blot analyses indicate that SPIN has amplified to high copy numbers in most of these species, ranging from 2,000-28,000 copies per haploid genome. In contrast, we could not detect the presence of SPIN in any of the turtles (seven species from seven families) and crocodiles (four species) examined. Genetic distances between SPIN sequences from species belonging to different squamate families are consistently very low (average = 0.1), considering the deep evolutionary divergence of the families investigated (most are >100 My diverged). Furthermore, these distances fall below interfamilial distances calculated for two genes known to have evolved under strong functional constraint in vertebrates (RAG1, average = 0.24 and C-mos, average = 0.27). These data, combined with phylogenetic analyses, indicate that the widespread distribution of SPIN among squamates is the result of at least 13 independent events of HTs. Molecular dating and paleobiogeographical data suggest that these transfers took place during the last 50 My on at least three different continents (North America, South America and, Africa). Together, these results triple the number of known SPIN transfer events among tetrapods, provide evidence for a previously hypothesized transoceanic movement of SPIN transposons during the Cenozoic, and further underscore the role of HT in the evolution of vertebrate

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Horizontal Transfer, Not Duplication, Drives the Expansion of Protein Families in Prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Treangen, Todd J.; Rocha, Eduardo P. C.

    2011-01-01

    Gene duplication followed by neo- or sub-functionalization deeply impacts the evolution of protein families and is regarded as the main source of adaptive functional novelty in eukaryotes. While there is ample evidence of adaptive gene duplication in prokaryotes, it is not clear whether duplication outweighs the contribution of horizontal gene transfer in the expansion of protein families. We analyzed closely related prokaryote strains or species with small genomes (Helicobacter, Neisseria, Streptococcus, Sulfolobus), average-sized genomes (Bacillus, Enterobacteriaceae), and large genomes (Pseudomonas, Bradyrhizobiaceae) to untangle the effects of duplication and horizontal transfer. After removing the effects of transposable elements and phages, we show that the vast majority of expansions of protein families are due to transfer, even among large genomes. Transferred genes—xenologs—persist longer in prokaryotic lineages possibly due to a higher/longer adaptive role. On the other hand, duplicated genes—paralogs—are expressed more, and, when persistent, they evolve slower. This suggests that gene transfer and gene duplication have very different roles in shaping the evolution of biological systems: transfer allows the acquisition of new functions and duplication leads to higher gene dosage. Accordingly, we show that paralogs share most protein–protein interactions and genetic regulators, whereas xenologs share very few of them. Prokaryotes invented most of life's biochemical diversity. Therefore, the study of the evolution of biology systems should explicitly account for the predominant role of horizontal gene transfer in the diversification of protein families. PMID:21298028

  5. Horizontal transfer of short and degraded DNA has evolutionary implications for microbes and eukaryotic sexual reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Willerslev, Eske

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer in the form of long DNA fragments has changed our view of bacterial evolution. Recently, we discovered that such processes may also occur with the massive amounts of short and damaged DNA in the environment, and even with truly ancient DNA. Although it presently remains unclear how often it takes place in nature, horizontal gene transfer of short and damaged DNA opens up the possibility for genetic exchange across distinct species in both time and space. In this essay, we speculate on the potential evolutionary consequences of this phenomenon. We argue that it may challenge basic assumptions in evolutionary theory; that it may have distant origins in life's history; and that horizontal gene transfer should be viewed as an evolutionary strategy not only preceding but causally underpinning the evolution of sexual reproduction. PMID:25143190

  6. Horizontal Gene Transfer and Assortative Recombination within the Acinetobacter baumannii Clinical Population Provide Genetic Diversity at the Single carO Gene, Encoding a Major Outer Membrane Protein Channel ▿ † ‡

    PubMed Central

    Mussi, María Alejandra; Limansky, Adriana S.; Relling, Verónica; Ravasi, Pablo; Arakaki, Adrián; Actis, Luis A.; Viale, Alejandro M.

    2011-01-01

    We described previously the presence in Acinetobacter baumannii of a novel outer membrane (OM) protein, CarO, which functions as an l-ornithine OM channel and whose loss was concomitant with increased carbapenem resistance among clonally related nosocomial isolates of this opportunistic pathogen. Here, we describe the existence of extensive genetic diversity at the carO gene within the A. baumannii clinical population. The systematic analysis of carO sequences from A. baumannii isolates obtained from public hospitals in Argentina revealed the existence of four highly polymorphic carO variants among them. Sequence polymorphism between the different A. baumannii CarO variants was concentrated in three well-defined protein regions that superimposed mostly to predicted surface-exposed loops. Polymorphism among A. baumannii CarO variants was manifested in differential electrophoretic mobilities, antigenic properties, abilities to form stable oligomeric structures, and l-ornithine influx abilities through the A. baumannii OM under in vivo conditions. Incongruence between the phylogenies of the clinical A. baumannii isolates analyzed and those of the carO variants they harbor suggests the existence of assortative (entire-gene) carO recombinational exchange within the A. baumannii population. Exchange of carO variants possessing differential characteristics mediated by horizontal gene transfer may constitute an A. baumannii population strategy to survive radically changing environmental conditions, such as the leap from inanimate sources to human hosts and vice versa, persistence in a compromised host, and/or survival in health care facilities. PMID:21764928

  7. International transferability of accident modification functions for horizontal curves.

    PubMed

    Elvik, Rune

    2013-10-01

    Studies of the relationship between characteristics of horizontal curves and accident rate have been reported in several countries. The characteristic most often studied is the radius of a horizontal curve. Functions describing the relationship between the radius of horizontal curves and accident rate have been developed in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States. Other characteristics of horizontal curves that have been studied include deflection angle, curve length, the presence of transition curves, super-elevation in curves and distance to adjacent curves. This paper assesses the international transferability of mathematical functions (accident modification functions) that have been developed to relate the radius of horizontal curves to their accident rate. The main research problem is whether these functions are similar, which enhances international transferability, or dissimilar, which reduces international transferability. Accident modification functions for horizontal curve radius developed in the countries listed above are synthesised. The sensitivity of the functions to other characteristics of curves than radius is examined. Accident modification functions developed in different countries have important similarities. The functions diverge with respect to accident rate in the sharpest curves.

  8. 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.

  9. Accidental genetic engineers: horizontal sequence transfer from parasitoid wasps to their Lepidopteran hosts.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Sean E; Thomas, James H

    2014-01-01

    We show here that 105 regions in two Lepidoptera genomes appear to derive from horizontally transferred wasp DNA. We experimentally verified the presence of two of these sequences in a diverse set of silkworm (Bombyx mori) genomes. We hypothesize that these horizontal transfers are made possible by the unusual strategy many parasitoid wasps employ of injecting hosts with endosymbiotic polydnaviruses to minimize the host's defense response. Because these virus-like particles deliver wasp DNA to the cells of the host, there has been much interest in whether genetic information can be permanently transferred from the wasp to the host. Two transferred sequences code for a BEN domain, known to be associated with polydnaviruses and transcriptional regulation. These findings represent the first documented cases of horizontal transfer of genes between two organisms by a polydnavirus. This presents an interesting evolutionary paradigm in which host species can acquire new sequences from parasitoid wasps that attack them. Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera diverged ∼300 MYA, making this type of event a source of novel sequences for recipient species. Unlike many other cases of horizontal transfer between two eukaryote species, these sequence transfers can be explained without the need to invoke the sequences 'hitchhiking' on a third organism (e.g. retrovirus) capable of independent reproduction. The cellular machinery necessary for the transfer is contained entirely in the wasp genome. The work presented here is the first such discovery of what is likely to be a broader phenomenon among species affected by these wasps.

  10. The capsule biosynthesis locus of Haemophilus influenzae shows conspicuous similarity to the corresponding locus in Haemophilus sputorum and may have been recruited from this species by horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Signe M; de Gier, Camilla; Dimopoulou, Chrysoula; Gupta, Vikas; Hansen, Lars H; Nørskov-Lauritsen, Niels

    2015-06-01

    The newly described species Haemophilus sputorum has been cultured from the upper respiratory tract of humans and appears to have little pathogenic potential. The species encodes a capsular biosynthesis locus of approximately 12  kb composed of three distinct regions. Region I and III genes, involved in export and processing of the capsular material, show high similarity to the corresponding genes in capsulate lineages of the pathogenic species Haemophilus influenzae; indeed, standard bexA and bexB PCRs for detection of capsulated strains of H. influenzae give positive results with strains of H. sputorum. Three ORFs are present in region II of the sequenced strain of H. sputorum, of which a putative phosphotransferase showed homology with corresponding genes from H. influenzae serotype c and f. Phylogenetic analysis of housekeeping genes from 24 Pasteurellaceae species showed that H. sputorum was only distantly related to H. influenzae. In contrast to H. influenzae, the capsule locus in H. sputorum is not associated with transposases or other transposable elements. Our data suggest that the capsule locus of capsulate lineages of H. influenzae may have been recruited relatively recently from the commensal species H. sputorum by horizontal gene transfer.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. 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 chromoso