An Ancient Horizontal Gene Transfer between Mosquito and the Endosymbiotic Bacterium Wolbachia pipientis


By jpeza - Posted on 06 Octubre 2009

Fecha Publicación: 
1 Ene 2009
Datos del paper
Autor Principal: 
Megan Woolfit
Volumen: 
26
Issue: 
2
Página Inicial: 
367
Página Final: 
374
Abstract: 

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

Dirección del Autor: 

School of Integrative Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, E-mail: scott.oneill@uq.edu.au.

Keywords: 
endosymbiont
symbiosis
Wolbachia pipientis
Aedes aegypti
Anopheles gambiae
SGS
Coautores: 

In˜ aki Iturbe-Ormaetxe;  Elizabeth A. McGraw;  Scott L. O’Neill

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