Horizontal Gene Transfer

claude selitrennikoff 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. 
Suzanne Canada
UCHSC, Denver CO

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