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Mol Biol Evol. 2000 Mar;17(3):352-61.

Horizontal gene transfer of glycosyl hydrolases of the rumen fungi.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Rovira i Virgili University, Catalonia, Spain.


By combining analyses of G + C content and patterns of codon usage and constructing phylogenetic trees, we describe the gene transfer of an endoglucanase (celA) from the rumen bacteria Fibrobacter succinogenes to the rumen fungi Orpinomyces joyonii. The strong similarity between different glycosyl hydrolases of rumen fungi and bacteria suggests that most, if not all, of the glycosyl hydrolases of rumen fungi that play an important role in the degradation of cellulose and other plant polysaccharides were acquired by horizontal gene transfer events. This acquisition allows fungi to establish a habitat within a new environmental niche: the rumen of the herbivorous mammals for which cellulose and plant hemicellulose constitute the main raw nutritive substrate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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