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Environ Microbiol Rep. 2012 Aug;4(4):412-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2012.00355.x. Epub 2012 May 18.

Natural replacement of vertically inherited lux-rib genes of Photobacterium aquimaris by horizontally acquired homologues.

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Interdisciplinary Research Organization Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, 5200 Kihara, Kiyotake, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


We report here the first instance of a complete replacement of vertically inherited luminescence genes by horizontally acquired homologues. Different strains of Photobacterium aquimaris contain homologues of the lux-rib genes that have a different evolutionary history. Strain BS1 from the Black Sea contains a vertically inherited lux-rib operon, which presumably arose in the ancestor of this species, whereas the type strain NBRC 104633(T) , from Sagami Bay, lacks the vertically inherited lux-rib operon and instead carries a complete and functional lux-rib operon acquired horizontally from a bacterium related to Photobacterium mandapamensis. The results indicate that the horizontal acquisition of the lux genes expanded the pan-genome of P. aquimaris, but it did not influence the phylogenetic divergence of this species.

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