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J Mol Evol. 1997 Aug;45(2):131-6.

Horizontal transfer of genes coding for the photosynthetic reaction centers of purple bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Minamiohsawa 1-1, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-03, Japan.


Phylogenetic trees were drawn and analyzed based on the nucleotide sequences of the 1.5-kb gene fragment coding for the L and M subunits of the photochemical reaction center of various purple photosynthetic bacteria. These trees are mostly consistent with phylogenetic trees based on 16S rRNA and soluble cytochrome c, but differ in some significant details. This inconsistency implies horizontal transfer of the genes that code for the photosynthetic apparatus in purple bacteria. Possibilities of similar transfers of photosynthesis genes during the evolution of photosynthesis are discussed especially for the establishment of oxygenic photosynthesis.

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