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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Oct;11(10):720-7. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3108. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Horizontal gene transfer in osmotrophs: playing with public goods.

Author information

1
1] School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Geoffrey Pope Building, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK. [2] Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.

Abstract

Osmotrophic microorganisms, such as fungi and oomycetes, feed by secreting depolymerizing enzymes to process complex food sources in the extracellular environment, and taking up the resulting simple sugars, micronutrients and amino acids. As a consequence of this lifestyle, osmotrophs engage in the acquisition and protection of public goods. In this Opinion article, we propose that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played a key part in shaping both the repertoire of proteins required for osmotrophy and the nature of public goods interactions in which eukaryotic microorganisms engage.

PMID:
24018383
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro3108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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