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L. Katz (1996)

Transkingdom transfer of the phosphoglucose isomerase gene

Journal of Molecular Evolution, 43(5):453-459.

Previous analysis of the gene encoding phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) suggests that this gene may have been transferred between a eukaryote and a bacterium. However, excluding the alternative hypothesis of ancient gene duplication has proven difficult because of both insufficient sampling of taxa and an earlier misidentification of a bacterial Pgi sequence. This paper presents a phylogenetic analysis of published complete Pgi sequences together with analysis of new partial Pgi sequences from six species of bacteria. The data identify a group of bacterial Pgi sequences, including sequences from Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenzae, which are more closely related to eukaryotic Pgi sequences than to other bacterial sequences. The topology of gene trees constructed using several different methods are all consistent with the hypothesis of lateral gene transfer and not ancient gene duplication. Furthermore, an estimate of a molecular clock for Pgi dates the divergence of the E. coli and H. influenzae sequences from the animal sequences to between 470 and 650 million years ago, well after other estimates of the divergence between eukaryotes and bacteria. This study provides the most convincing evidence to date of the transkingdom transfer of a nuclear gene.

ancient gene duplication, evolution, sequence, escherichia-coli, lateral gene transfer, phosphoglucose isomerase, eukaryotes, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, phylogeny


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