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Science. 2003 Aug 8;301(5634):829-32.

Phylogenetics and the cohesion of bacterial genomes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA.


Gene acquisition is an ongoing process in many bacterial genomes, contributing to adaptation and ecological diversification. Lateral gene transfer is considered the primary explanation for discordance among gene phylogenies and as an obstacle to reconstructing the tree of life. We measured the extent of phylogenetic conflict and alien-gene acquisition within quartets of sequenced genomes. Although comparisons of complete gene inventories indicate appreciable gain and loss of genes, orthologs available for phylogenetic reconstruction are consistent with a single tree.

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