| | english | español | français |
Go to record ID

  Home|Finding Information|Record details   Printer-friendly version

Information Resource
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-08 15:45 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-08 15:45 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Horizontal gene transfer among genomes: The complexity hypothesis
Ravi Jain, Maria C. Rivera, and James A. Lake
Author’s contact information
James A. Lake
e-mail: Lake@mbi.ucla.edu

232 Molecular Biology Institute
611 Circle Drive East
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Increasingly, studies of genes and genomes are indicating that considerable horizontal transfer has occurred between prokaryotes. Extensive horizontal transfer has occurred for operational genes (those involved in housekeeping), whereas informational genes (those involved in transcription, translation, and related processes) are seldomly horizontally transferred. Through phylogenetic analysis of six complete prokaryotic genomes and the identification of 312 sets of orthologous genes present in all six genomes, we tested two theories describing the temporal flow of horizontal transfer. We show that operational genes have been horizontally transferred continuously since the divergence of the prokaryotes, rather than having been exchanged in one, or a few, massive events that occurred early in the evolution of prokaryotes. In agreement with earlier studies, we found that differences in rates of evolution between operational and informational genes are minimal, suggesting that factors other than rate of evolution are responsible for the observed differences in horizontal transfer. We propose that a major factor in the more frequent horizontal transfer of operational genes is that informational genes are typically members of large, complex systems, whereas operational genes are not, thereby making horizontal transfer of informational gene products less probable (the complexity hypothesis).
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
    • Risk management
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
doi: 10.1073/pnas.96.7.3801
Publisher and its location
National Academy of Sciences
6 page PDF
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Keywords and any other relevant information
Citation: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. Vol. 96, pp. 3801-3806, March 1999