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Microbial evolution of sulphate reduction when lateral gene transfer is geographically restricted

Chi Fru, E. ORCID: 2011. Microbial evolution of sulphate reduction when lateral gene transfer is geographically restricted. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 61 (7) , pp. 1725-1735. 10.1099/ijs.0.026914-0

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Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is an important mechanism by which micro-organisms acquire new functions. This process has been suggested to be central to prokaryotic evolution in various environments. However, the influence of geographical constraints on the evolution of laterally acquired genes in microbial metabolic evolution is not yet well understood. In this study, the influence of geographical isolation on the evolution of laterally acquired dissimilatory sulphite reductase (dsr) gene sequences in the sulphate-reducing micro-organisms (SRM) was investigated. Sequences on four continental blocks related to SRM known to have received dsr by LGT were analysed using standard phylogenetic and multidimensional statistical methods. Sequences related to lineages with large genetic diversity correlated positively with habitat divergence. Those affiliated to Thermodesulfobacterium indicated strong biogeographical delineation; hydrothermal-vent sequences clustered independently from hot-spring sequences. Some of the hydrothermal-vent and hot-spring sequences suggested to have been acquired from a common ancestral source may have diverged upon isolation within distinct habitats. In contrast, analysis of some Desulfotomaculum sequences indicated they could have been transferred from different ancestral sources but converged upon isolation within the same niche. These results hint that, after lateral acquisition of dsr genes, barriers to gene flow probably play a strong role in their subsequent evolution.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology: IJSEM
ISSN: 1466-5026
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 09:44

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