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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-08 16:25 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-08 16:25 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Global extent of horizontal gene transfer
In-Geol Choi and Sung-Hou Kim
Author’s contact information
Sung-Hou Kim
E-mail: shkim@cchem.berkeley.edu

Physical Biosciences Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Department of Chemistry
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is thought to play an important role in the evolution of species and innovation of genomes. There have been many convincing evidences for HGT for specific genes or gene families, but there has been no estimate of the global extent of HGT. Here, we present a method of identifying HGT events within a given protein family and estimate the global extent of HGT in all curated protein domain families (8,000) listed in the Pfam database. The results suggest four conclusions: (i) for all protein domain families in Pfam, the fixation of genes horizontally transferred is not a rampant phenomenon between organisms with substantial phylogenetic separations (1.1-9.7% of Pfam families surveyed at three taxonomic ranges studied show indication of HGT); (ii) however, at the level of domains, >50% of Archaea have one or more protein domains acquired by HGT, and nearly 30 -50% of Bacteria did the same when examined at three taxonomic ranges. But, the equivalent value for Eukarya is <10%; (iii) HGT will have very little impact in the construction of organism phylogeny, when the construction methods use whole genomes, large numbers of common genes, or SSU rRNAs; and (iv) there appears to be no strong preference of HGT for protein families of particular cellular or molecular functions.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
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.0611557104
Publisher and its location
National Academy of Sciences
© 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences
6 page PDF
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Keywords and any other relevant information
Keywords: protein domain family, protein sequence family, lateral gene transfer

Citation: PNAS March 13, 2007 vol. 104 no. 11 4489-4494