Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotic parasites: a case study of Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis

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  2. Dr Cecilia Alsmark
  3. Professor Robert Hirt
  4. Professor T. Martin Embley
Author(s)Alsmark UC, Sicheritz-Ponten T, Foster PG, Hirt RP, Embley TM
Publication type Article
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Year2009
Volume532
Issue
Pages489-500
ISSN (print)1064-3745
ISSN (electronic)1940-6029
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Over the past few years it has become apparent that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played an important role in the evolution of pathogenic prokaryotes. What is less clear is the exact role that HGT has played in shaping the metabolism of eukaryotic organisms. The main problems are the reliable inference of HGT on a genomic scale as well as the functional assignment of genes in these poorly studied organisms. We have screened the completed genomes of the protists Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis for cases of HGT from prokaryotes. Using a fast primary screen followed by a conservative phylogenetic approach, we found 68 and 153 recent cases of HGT in the respective organisms. The majority of transferred genes that fall into functional categories code for enzymes involved in metabolism. We found a broad range of prokaryotic lineages represented among the donors, but organisms that share similar environmental niches with E. histolytica and T. vaginalis, such as the gut and the vaginal mucosa, dominate.
PublisherHumana Press
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60327-853-9_28
DOI10.1007/978-1-60327-853-9_28
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