Author(s): Keeling PJ
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is known to have contributed to the content of eukaryotic genomes, but the direct effects of HGT on eukaryotic evolution are more obscure because many of the best supported cases involve a new gene replacing a functionally similar homologue. Here, several cases of HGT conferring a plausible adaptive advantage are reviewed to examine emerging trends in such transfer events. In particular, HGT seems to play an important role in adaptation to parasitism and pathogenesis, as well as to other specific environmental conditions such as anaerobiosis or nitrogen and iron limitation in marine environments. Most, but not all, of the functionally significant HGT to eukaryotes comes from bacteria, in part due to chance, but probably also because bacteria have greater metabolic diversity to offer.
This article was published in Curr Opin Genet Dev
and referenced in Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology