Figure 2.23. Lateral gene transfer obscures the evolutionary relationships between species.

Figure 2.23Lateral gene transfer obscures the evolutionary relationships between species

In (A) a group of eight modern species has evolved from an ancestor without lateral gene transfer. The evolutionary relationships between the species can be inferred by comparisons between their DNA sequences, using the molecular phylogenetics techniques described in Chapter 16. In (B) extensive lateral gene transfer has occurred. The evolutionary histories of the modern species cannot now be inferred by standard molecular phylogenetics because one or more of the species may have acquired the sequences that are being compared by lateral gene transfer rather than by inheritance from a direct ancestor.

From: Chapter 2, Genome Anatomies

Cover of Genomes
Genomes. 2nd edition.
Brown TA.
Oxford: Wiley-Liss; 2002.
Copyright © 2002, Garland Science.

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