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Trends Genet. 2010 Jan;26(1):5-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2009.11.007. Epub 2009 Dec 5.

Acquisition of prokaryotic genes by fungal genomes.

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  • 1Bioinformatics and Genomics Programme, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Doctor Aiguader, 88. 08003 Barcelona, Spain.


The relevance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotes is a matter of debate. Recent analyses have shown clear examples in some species such as Candida parapsilosis, but broader surveys are lacking. To assess the impact of HGT in the fungal kingdom, we searched for prokaryotic-derived HGTs in 60 fully sequenced genomes. Using strict phylogenomic criteria, we detected 713 transferred genes. HGT affected most fungal clades, with particularly high rates in Pezizomycotina. Transferred genes included bacterial arsenite reductase, catalase, different racemases and peptidoglycan metabolism enzymes. Our results suggest an important role for HGT in fungal evolution.

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