Fitzpatrick, David A.
Horizontal gene transfer in fungi.
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is frequently observed in prokaryotes and until
recently was assumed to be of limited importance to eukaryotes. However,
there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that HGT is an important
mechanism in eukaryotic genome evolution, particularly in unicellular organisms.
The transfer of individual genes, gene clusters or entire chromosomes can
have significant impacts on niche specification, disease emergence or shift in
metabolic capabilities. In terms of genomic sequencing, the fungal kingdom is
one of the most densely sampled eukaryotic lineages and is at the forefront of
eukaryote comparative genomics and enables us to use fungi to study eukaryotic
evolutionary mechanisms including HGT. This review describes the bioinformatics-
based methodologies commonly used to locate HGT in fungal
genomes and investigates the possible mechanisms involved in transferring
genetic material laterally into fungal species. I will highlight a number of fungal
HGT events and discuss the impact they have played on fungal evolution and
discuss the implications HGT may have on the fungal tree of life.
||fungi; phylogenetics; surrogate methods;
anastomosis; virulence; niche specification;
||Science & Engineering > Biology
||27 Jan 2012 12:55
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||Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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