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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2016 Apr 1;8(4):a018036. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a018036.

Horizontal Gene Transfer and the History of Life.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Université de Lyon, 69000 Lyon, France Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5558, Université Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne, France.
2
ELTE-MTA "Lendület" Biophysics Research Group, 1117 Budapest, Hungary.

Abstract

Microbes acquire DNA from a variety of sources. The last decades, which have seen the development of genome sequencing, have revealed that horizontal gene transfer has been a major evolutionary force that has constantly reshaped genomes throughout evolution. However, because the history of life must ultimately be deduced from gene phylogenies, the lack of methods to account for horizontal gene transfer has thrown into confusion the very concept of the tree of life. As a result, many questions remain open, but emerging methodological developments promise to use information conveyed by horizontal gene transfer that remains unexploited today.

PMID:
26801681
PMCID:
PMC4817804
DOI:
10.1101/cshperspect.a018036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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