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      Functional horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to eukaryotes

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      Nature Reviews Microbiology
      Springer Nature

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          Abstract

          Bacteria influence eukaryotic biology as parasitic, commensal or beneficial symbionts. Aside from these organismal interactions, bacteria have also been important sources of new genetic sequences through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) for eukaryotes. In this Review, we focus on gene transfers from bacteria to eukaryotes, discuss how horizontally transferred genes become functional and explore what functions are endowed upon a broad diversity of eukaryotes by genes derived from bacteria. We classify HGT events into two broad types: those that maintain pre-existing functions and those that provide the recipient with new functionality, including altered host nutrition, protection and adaptation to extreme environments.

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          Most cited references120

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          Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotic evolution.

          Horizontal gene transfer (HGT; also known as lateral gene transfer) has had an important role in eukaryotic genome evolution, but its importance is often overshadowed by the greater prevalence and our more advanced understanding of gene transfer in prokaryotes. Recurrent endosymbioses and the generally poor sampling of most nuclear genes from diverse lineages have also complicated the search for transferred genes. Nevertheless, the number of well-supported cases of transfer from both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, many with significant functional implications, is now expanding rapidly. Major recent trends include the important role of HGT in adaptation to certain specialized niches and the highly variable impact of HGT in different lineages.
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            The genome of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

            The social amoebae are exceptional in their ability to alternate between unicellular and multicellular forms. Here we describe the genome of the best-studied member of this group, Dictyostelium discoideum. The gene-dense chromosomes of this organism encode approximately 12,500 predicted proteins, a high proportion of which have long, repetitive amino acid tracts. There are many genes for polyketide synthases and ABC transporters, suggesting an extensive secondary metabolism for producing and exporting small molecules. The genome is rich in complex repeats, one class of which is clustered and may serve as centromeres. Partial copies of the extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA (rDNA) element are found at the ends of each chromosome, suggesting a novel telomere structure and the use of a common mechanism to maintain both the rDNA and chromosomal termini. A proteome-based phylogeny shows that the amoebozoa diverged from the animal-fungal lineage after the plant-animal split, but Dictyostelium seems to have retained more of the diversity of the ancestral genome than have plants, animals or fungi.
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              Horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes: quantification and classification.

              Comparative analysis of bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic genomes indicates that a significant fraction of the genes in the prokaryotic genomes have been subject to horizontal transfer. In some cases, the amount and source of horizontal gene transfer can be linked to an organism's lifestyle. For example, bacterial hyperthermophiles seem to have exchanged genes with archaea to a greater extent than other bacteria, whereas transfer of certain classes of eukaryotic genes is most common in parasitic and symbiotic bacteria. Horizontal transfer events can be classified into distinct categories of acquisition of new genes, acquisition of paralogs of existing genes, and xenologous gene displacement whereby a gene is displaced by a horizontally transferred ortholog from another lineage (xenolog). Each of these types of horizontal gene transfer is common among prokaryotes, but their relative contributions differ in different lineages. The fixation and long-term persistence of horizontally transferred genes suggests that they confer a selective advantage on the recipient organism. In most cases, the nature of this advantage remains unclear, but detailed examination of several cases of acquisition of eukaryotic genes by bacteria seems to reveal the evolutionary forces involved. Examples include isoleucyl-tRNA synthetases whose acquisition from eukaryotes by several bacteria is linked to antibiotic resistance, ATP/ADP translocases acquired by intracellular parasitic bacteria, Chlamydia and Rickettsia, apparently from plants, and proteases that may be implicated in chlamydial pathogenesis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Microbiology
                Nat Rev Micro
                Springer Nature
                1740-1526
                1740-1534
                November 27 2017
                November 27 2017
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1038/nrmicro.2017.137
                29176581
                2b9cd457-6cec-4997-b1ca-908cf27b6fa4
                © 2017

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