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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59262. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059262. Epub 2013 Mar 22.

Characterization of an ancient lepidopteran lateral gene transfer.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States of America. dwheelerau@gmail.com

Abstract

Bacteria to eukaryote lateral gene transfers (LGT) are an important potential source of material for the evolution of novel genetic traits. The explosion in the number of newly sequenced genomes provides opportunities to identify and characterize examples of these lateral gene transfer events, and to assess their role in the evolution of new genes. In this paper, we describe an ancient lepidopteran LGT of a glycosyl hydrolase family 31 gene (GH31) from an Enterococcus bacteria. PCR amplification between the LGT and a flanking insect gene confirmed that the GH31 was integrated into the Bombyx mori genome and was not a result of an assembly error. Database searches in combination with degenerate PCR on a panel of 7 lepidopteran families confirmed that the GH31 LGT event occurred deep within the Order approximately 65-145 million years ago. The most basal species in which the LGT was found is Plutella xylostella (superfamily: Yponomeutoidea). Array data from Bombyx mori shows that GH31 is expressed, and low dN/dS ratios indicates the LGT coding sequence is under strong stabilizing selection. These findings provide further support for the proposition that bacterial LGTs are relatively common in insects and likely to be an underappreciated source of adaptive genetic material.

PMID:
23533610
PMCID:
PMC3606386
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0059262
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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