Ancient gene transfer from algae to animals: Mechanisms and evolutionary significance
Ni, Ting; Yue, Jipei; Sun, Guiling; Zou, Yong; Wen, Jianfan; Huang, Jinling
Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is traditionally considered to be rare in multicellular eukaryotes such as animals. Recently, many genes of miscellaneous algal origins were discovered in choanoflagellates. Considering that choanoflagellates are the existing closest relatives of animals, we speculated that ancient HGT might have occurred in the unicellular ancestor of animals and affected the long-term evolution of animals. Results Through genome screening, phylogenetic and domain analyses, we identified 14 gene families, including 92 genes, in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis that are likely derived from miscellaneous photosynthetic eukaryotes. Almost all of these gene families are distributed in diverse animals, suggesting that they were mostly acquired by the common ancestor of animals. Their miscellaneous origins also suggest that these genes are not derived from a particular algal endosymbiont. In addition, most genes identified in our analyses are functionally related to molecule transport, cellular regulation and methylation signaling, suggesting that the acquisition of these genes might have facilitated the intercellular communication in the ancestral animal. Conclusions Our findings provide additional evidence that algal genes in aplastidic eukaryotes are not exclusively derived from historical plastids and thus important for interpreting the evolution of eukaryotic photosynthesis. Most importantly, our data represent the first evidence that more anciently acquired genes might exist in animals and that ancient HGT events have played an important role in animal evolution.
Ni, Ting, & Yue, Jipei, & Sun, Guiling, & Zou, Yong, & Wen, Jianfan, & Huang, Jinling. (January 2012). Ancient gene transfer from algae to animals: Mechanisms and evolutionary significance. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12(), 83- 83. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5484
Ni, Ting, and Yue, Jipei, and Sun, Guiling, and Zou, Yong, and Wen, Jianfan, and Huang, Jinling. "Ancient gene transfer from algae to animals: Mechanisms and evolutionary significance". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12:. (83-83), January 2012. June 23, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5484.
Ni, Ting and Yue, Jipei and Sun, Guiling and Zou, Yong and Wen, Jianfan and Huang, Jinling, "Ancient gene transfer from algae to animals: Mechanisms and evolutionary significance," BMC Evolutionary Biology 12, no. (January 2012), http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5484 (accessed June 23, 2018).
Ni, Ting, Yue, Jipei, Sun, Guiling, Zou, Yong, Wen, Jianfan, Huang, Jinling. Ancient gene transfer from algae to animals: Mechanisms and evolutionary significance. BMC Evolutionary Biology. January 2012; 12(): 83-83. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5484. Accessed June 23, 2018.