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Trends Microbiol. 2006 Feb;14(2):64-9. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Ancient lateral gene transfer in the evolution of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel.


The recently sequenced genome of the predatory delta-proteobacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus provides many insights into its metabolism and evolution. Because its genes are reasonably uniform in G+C content, it was suggested that B. bacteriovorus actively resists recombination with foreign DNA and horizontal transfer of DNA from other bacteria. To investigate this further, we carried out a variety of phylogenetic and comparative genomics analyses using data from >200 microbial genomes, including several published delta-proteobacteria. Although there might be little evidence for the extensive recent transfer of genes, we demonstrate that ancient lateral gene acquisition has shaped the B. bacteriovorus genome to a great extent.

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