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Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Dec;23(12):2379-91. Epub 2006 Sep 11.

Gene gain and gene loss in streptococcus: is it driven by habitat?

Author information

1
Department of Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Bacterial genomes can evolve either by gene gain, gene loss, mutating existing genes, and/or by duplication of existing genes. Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that the acquisition of new genes by lateral gene transfer (LGT) is a predominant force in bacterial evolution. To better understand the significance of LGT, we employed a comparative genomics approach to model species-specific and intraspecies gene insertions/deletions (ins/del among 12 sequenced streptococcal genomes using a maximum likelihood method. This study indicates that the rate of gene ins/del is higher on the external branches and varies dramatically for each species. We have analyzed here some of the experimentally characterized species-specific genes that have been acquired by LGT and conclude that at least a portion of these genes have a role in adaptation.

PMID:
16966682
DOI:
10.1093/molbev/msl115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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