Horizontal Gene Transfer
claudes at essex.hsc.colorado.edu
Wed Feb 5 22:40:43 EST 1997
what an interesting thesis you must have! What fungus and gene are
you working with, if I might ask?
I too am interested in the horizontal gene transfer hypothesis, since
my thesis concerned HTS1, a gene in Cochliobolus carbonum that is
associated with host-selective toxin production. Some scientists
speculate that this gene may have originally been incorporated into
the fungal genome by horizontal gene transfer.
I also read of other cases, such as the inclusion of dispensable
chromosomes into the genome of some fungi, that could have been gained
via horizontal tranfer of entire chromosomes!
I learned of many cases where similar metabolites were made by both
host plants and fungi or bacteria that were associated with those
plants. The similarity in metabolites seems like more than coincidence
or convergent evolution.
However, I was not able to dig up any references that demonstrated
that horizontal gene transfer had occured in nature. All the
horizontal gene tranfers that were conclusive, were aided by genetic
engineering by scientists. If you find any examples in your search,
I'd like to hear about them too.
UCHSC, Denver CO
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