Special Issue "Horizontal Gene Transfer"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. John Jones
Website
Guest Editor
The James Hutton Institute, UK & University of St Andrews, UK
Interests: Nematode genomics; plant-nematode interactions
Dr. Etienne G.J. Danchin
Website
Guest Editor
Institut Sophia Agrobiotech INRA, UNS, CNRS, France
Interests: Comparative and evolutionary genomics, plant-parasitic nematodes, horizontal gene transfers, parthenogenesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing accessibility of high-throughput sequencing means that a far wider range of genomes are being sequenced.  Although horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes is common, one of the surprising findings that has emerged from these sequencing projects is the presence in many eukaryotic genomes of genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer.  In some parasitic species, horizontal gene transfer appears to have played a key role in the evolution of the ability to infect hosts.  This issue will focus on the functional roles of genes acquired via horizontal gene transfer in the biology of the organisms in which they become established.

Prof. Dr. John Jones
Dr. Etienne Danchin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Horizontal/Lateral Gene Transfers,
  • -Contribution of horizontal gene transfer to parasitism
  • -Impact of HGT on animal genomes
  • -Animal to animal HGT
  • -HGT and anhydrobiosis/desiccation/survival in extreme conditions (e.g. rotifers, tardigrades, nematodes)
  • acquisition of new functions,
  • foreign gene domestication,
  • tree of life

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle
The Transcriptomes of Xiphinema index and Longidorus elongatus Suggest Independent Acquisition of Some Plant Parasitism Genes by Horizontal Gene Transfer in Early-Branching Nematodes
Genes 2017, 8(10), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100287 - 23 Oct 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
Nematodes have evolved the ability to parasitize plants on at least four independent occasions, with plant parasites present in Clades 1, 2, 10 and 12 of the phylum. In the case of Clades 10 and 12, horizontal gene transfer of plant cell wall [...] Read more.
Nematodes have evolved the ability to parasitize plants on at least four independent occasions, with plant parasites present in Clades 1, 2, 10 and 12 of the phylum. In the case of Clades 10 and 12, horizontal gene transfer of plant cell wall degrading enzymes from bacteria and fungi has been implicated in the evolution of plant parasitism. We have used ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNAseq) to generate reference transcriptomes for two economically important nematode species, Xiphinema index and Longidorus elongatus, representative of two genera within the early-branching Clade 2 of the phylum Nematoda. We used a transcriptome-wide analysis to identify putative horizontal gene transfer events. This represents the first in-depth transcriptome analysis from any plant-parasitic nematode of this clade. For each species, we assembled ~30 million Illumina reads into a reference transcriptome. We identified 62 and 104 transcripts, from X. index and L. elongatus, respectively, that were putatively acquired via horizontal gene transfer. By cross-referencing horizontal gene transfer prediction with a phylum-wide analysis of Pfam domains, we identified Clade 2-specific events. Of these, a GH12 cellulase from X. index was analysed phylogenetically and biochemically, revealing a likely bacterial origin and canonical enzymatic function. Horizontal gene transfer was previously shown to be a phenomenon that has contributed to the evolution of plant parasitism among nematodes. Our findings underline the importance and the extensiveness of this phenomenon in the evolution of plant-parasitic life styles in this speciose and widespread animal phylum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Role of Archaeal HerA Protein in the Biology of the Bacterium Thermus thermophilus
Genes 2017, 8(5), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8050130 - 27 Apr 2017
Abstract
Intense gene flux between prokaryotes result in high percentage of archaeal genes in the genome of the thermophilic bacteria Thermus spp. Among these archaeal genes a homolog to the Sulfolobus spp. HerA protein appears in all of the Thermus spp. strains so far [...] Read more.
Intense gene flux between prokaryotes result in high percentage of archaeal genes in the genome of the thermophilic bacteria Thermus spp. Among these archaeal genes a homolog to the Sulfolobus spp. HerA protein appears in all of the Thermus spp. strains so far sequenced (HepA). The role of HepA in Thermus thermophilus HB27 has been analyzed using deletion mutants, and its structure resolved at low resolution by electron microscopy. Recombinant HepA shows DNA-dependent ATPase activity and its structure revealed a double ring, conically-shaped hexamer with an upper diameter of 150 Å and a bottom module of 95 Å. A central pore was detected in the structure that ranges from 13 Å at one extreme, to 30 Å at the other. Mutants lacking HepA show defective natural competence and DNA donation capability in a conjugation-like process termed “transjugation”, and also high sensitivity to UV and dramatic sensitivity to high temperatures. These data support that acquisition of an ancestral archaeal HerA has been fundamental for the adaptation of Thermus spp. to high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview
The Obscure World of Integrative and Mobilizable Elements, Highly Widespread Elements that Pirate Bacterial Conjugative Systems
Genes 2017, 8(11), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8110337 - 22 Nov 2017
Cited by 16
Abstract
Conjugation is a key mechanism of bacterial evolution that involves mobile genetic elements. Recent findings indicated that the main actors of conjugative transfer are not the well-known conjugative or mobilizable plasmids but are the integrated elements. This paper reviews current knowledge on “integrative [...] Read more.
Conjugation is a key mechanism of bacterial evolution that involves mobile genetic elements. Recent findings indicated that the main actors of conjugative transfer are not the well-known conjugative or mobilizable plasmids but are the integrated elements. This paper reviews current knowledge on “integrative and mobilizable elements” (IMEs) that have recently been shown to be highly diverse and highly widespread but are still rarely described. IMEs encode their own excision and integration and use the conjugation machinery of unrelated co-resident conjugative element for their own transfer. Recent studies revealed a much more complex and much more diverse lifecycle than initially thought. Besides their main transmission as integrated elements, IMEs probably use plasmid-like strategies to ensure their maintenance after excision. Their interaction with conjugative elements reveals not only harmless hitchhikers but also hunters that use conjugative elements as target for their integration or harmful parasites that subvert the conjugative apparatus of incoming elements to invade cells that harbor them. IMEs carry genes conferring various functions, such as resistance to antibiotics, that can enhance the fitness of their hosts and that contribute to their maintenance in bacterial populations. Taken as a whole, IMEs are probably major contributors to bacterial evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Impact of Lateral Transfers on the Genomes of Lepidoptera
Genes 2017, 8(11), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8110315 - 09 Nov 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Transfer of DNA sequences between species regardless of their evolutionary distance is very common in bacteria, but evidence that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) also occurs in multicellular organisms has been accumulating in the past few years. The actual extent of this phenomenon is [...] Read more.
Transfer of DNA sequences between species regardless of their evolutionary distance is very common in bacteria, but evidence that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) also occurs in multicellular organisms has been accumulating in the past few years. The actual extent of this phenomenon is underestimated due to frequent sequence filtering of “alien” DNA before genome assembly. However, recent studies based on genome sequencing have revealed, and experimentally verified, the presence of foreign DNA sequences in the genetic material of several species of Lepidoptera. Large DNA viruses, such as baculoviruses and the symbiotic viruses of parasitic wasps (bracoviruses), have the potential to mediate these transfers in Lepidoptera. In particular, using ultra-deep sequencing, newly integrated transposons have been identified within baculovirus genomes. Bacterial genes have also been acquired by genomes of Lepidoptera, as in other insects and nematodes. In addition, insertions of bracovirus sequences were present in the genomes of certain moth and butterfly lineages, that were likely corresponding to rearrangements of ancient integrations. The viral genes present in these sequences, sometimes of hymenopteran origin, have been co-opted by lepidopteran species to confer some protection against pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Intercompartmental Piecewise Gene Transfer
Genes 2017, 8(10), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100260 - 06 Oct 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Gene relocation from the residual genomes of organelles to the nuclear genome still continues, although as a scaled down evolutionary phenomenon, limited in occurrence mostly to protists (sensu lato) and land plants. During this process, the structural integrity of transferred genes [...] Read more.
Gene relocation from the residual genomes of organelles to the nuclear genome still continues, although as a scaled down evolutionary phenomenon, limited in occurrence mostly to protists (sensu lato) and land plants. During this process, the structural integrity of transferred genes is usually preserved. However, the relocation of mitochondrial genes that code for respiratory chain and ribosomal proteins is sometimes associated with their fragmentation into two complementary genes. Herein, this review compiles cases of piecewise gene transfer from the mitochondria to the nucleus, and discusses hypothesized mechanistic links between the fission and relocation of those genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Et tu, Brute? Not Even Intracellular Mutualistic Symbionts Escape Horizontal Gene Transfer
Genes 2017, 8(10), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100247 - 29 Sep 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Many insect species maintain mutualistic relationships with endosymbiotic bacteria. In contrast to their free-living relatives, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has traditionally been considered rare in long-term endosymbionts. Nevertheless, meta-omics exploration of certain symbiotic models has unveiled an increasing number of bacteria-bacteria and bacteria-host [...] Read more.
Many insect species maintain mutualistic relationships with endosymbiotic bacteria. In contrast to their free-living relatives, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has traditionally been considered rare in long-term endosymbionts. Nevertheless, meta-omics exploration of certain symbiotic models has unveiled an increasing number of bacteria-bacteria and bacteria-host genetic transfers. The abundance and function of transferred loci suggest that HGT might play a major role in the evolution of the corresponding consortia, enhancing their adaptive value or buffering detrimental effects derived from the reductive evolution of endosymbionts’ genomes. Here, we comprehensively review the HGT cases recorded to date in insect-bacteria mutualistic consortia, and discuss their impact on the evolutionary success of these associations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Evolutionary Significance of Wolbachia-to-Animal Horizontal Gene Transfer: Female Sex Determination and the f Element in the Isopod Armadillidium vulgare
Genes 2017, 8(7), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8070186 - 21 Jul 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
An increasing number of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events from bacteria to animals have been reported in the past years, many of which involve Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts and their invertebrate hosts. Most transferred Wolbachia genes are neutrally-evolving fossils embedded in host genomes. A [...] Read more.
An increasing number of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events from bacteria to animals have been reported in the past years, many of which involve Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts and their invertebrate hosts. Most transferred Wolbachia genes are neutrally-evolving fossils embedded in host genomes. A remarkable case of Wolbachia HGT for which a clear evolutionary significance has been demonstrated is the “f element”, a nuclear Wolbachia insert involved in female sex determination in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare. The f element represents an instance of bacteria-to-animal HGT that has occurred so recently that it was possible to infer the donor (feminizing Wolbachia closely related to the wVulC Wolbachia strain of A. vulgare) and the mechanism of integration (a nearly complete genome inserted by micro-homology-mediated recombination). In this review, we summarize our current knowledge of the f element and discuss arising perspectives regarding female sex determination, unstable inheritance, population dynamics and the molecular evolution of the f element. Overall, the f element unifies three major areas in evolutionary biology: symbiosis, HGT and sex determination. Its characterization highlights the tremendous impact sex ratio distorters can have on the evolution of sex determination mechanisms and sex chromosomes in animals and plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessTechnical Note
Alienness: Rapid Detection of Candidate Horizontal Gene Transfers across the Tree of Life
Genes 2017, 8(10), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100248 - 29 Sep 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the transmission of genes between organisms by other means than parental to offspring inheritance. While it is prevalent in prokaryotes, HGT is less frequent in eukaryotes and particularly in Metazoa. Here, we propose Alienness, a taxonomy-aware web application [...] Read more.
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the transmission of genes between organisms by other means than parental to offspring inheritance. While it is prevalent in prokaryotes, HGT is less frequent in eukaryotes and particularly in Metazoa. Here, we propose Alienness, a taxonomy-aware web application available at http://alienness.sophia.inra.fr. Alienness parses BLAST results against public libraries to rapidly identify candidate HGT in any genome of interest. Alienness takes as input the result of a BLAST of a whole proteome of interest against any National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) protein library. The user defines recipient (e.g., Metazoa) and donor (e.g., bacteria, fungi) branches of interest in the NCBI taxonomy. Based on the best BLAST E-values of candidate donor and recipient taxa, Alienness calculates an Alien Index (AI) for each query protein. An AI > 0 indicates a better hit to candidate donor than recipient taxa and a possible HGT. Higher AI represent higher gap of E-values between candidate donor and recipient and a more likely HGT. We confirmed the accuracy of Alienness on phylogenetically confirmed HGT of non-metazoan origin in plant-parasitic nematodes. Alienness scans whole proteomes to rapidly identify possible HGT in any species of interest and thus fosters exploration of HGT more easily and largely across the tree of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop