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(none) (Horizontal gene transfer)

Mathew Woodwark mathew.woodwark at alderley.zeneca.com
Thu Jun 19 07:23:52 EST 1997

Simon Topp wrote:
> kailash at jnuniv.ernet.in wrote:
> >
> > Dear Netters,
> >         Greeting!
> >         I have a query.
> >         In a common environment, despite horizontal gene transfer,
> >         how is it made possible by the microorganisms, sharing the
> >         same environment, to maintain their individual identity?
> >         i.e. why two microorganisms do not change so significantly
> >         in their genome due to horizontal gene transfer that they
> >         merge and a third absolutely new organism if formed.
> >         Bye for now
> >         i p singh.

Sorry Simon, I had to snip your reply so that I could get this posted.
No criticism implied!

> Simon Topp
> UK Bioinformatics
> SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals
> Simon_Topp-1 at sbphrd.com

As an addition to this debate, it might be useful for the original
poster to check out references by John Maynard Smith in the early
nineties. I remember him giving a series of talks about this subject to
conferences about that time and I think his conclusion was that there
was quite a lot of horizontal transfer about in the bacteria. Mind you,
this was a while ago, so perhaps it would be best to refer to the paper,
and amazingly, I have managed to dredge up the reference:

Maynard Smith, J., Smith, N.H., O'Rourke, M. and Spratt, B.G. 'How
clonal are bacteria?'
          Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 4384-4388, 1993. 

Hope this helps

Mathew Woodwark
Bioinformatics Project
Zeneca Pharmaceuticals
Mathew.woodwark at alderley.zeneca.com

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