Adaptation for horizontal transfer in a homing endonuclease

Koufopanou, V., Goddard, M. R. and Burt, A. (2002) Adaptation for horizontal transfer in a homing endonuclease. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 19 (3). pp. 239-246. ISSN 0737-4038

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Item Type:Article
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Selfish genes of no function other than self-propagation are susceptible to degeneration if they become fixed in a population, and regular transfer to new species may be the only means for their long-term persistence. To test this idea we surveyed 24 species of yeast for VDE, a nuclear, intein-associated homing endonuclease gene (HEG) originally discovered in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Phylogenetic analyses show that horizontal transmission has been a regular occurrence in its evolutionary history. Moreover, VDE appears to be specifically adapted for horizontal transmission. Its 31-bp recognition sequence is an unusually well-conserved region in an unusually well-conserved gene. In addition, the nine nucleotide sites most critical for homing are also unusually well conserved. Such adaptation for horizontal transmission presumably arose as a consequence of selection, both among HEGs at different locations in the genome and among variants at the same location. The frequency of horizontal transmission must therefore be a key feature constraining the distribution and abundance of these genes.

Keywords:endonuclease, adaptation, animal behavior, article, gene function, gene rearrangement, gene transfer, genetic analysis, genetic selection, molecular evolution, molecular recognition, nonhuman, phylogeny, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yeast, Conserved Sequence, DNA, Fungal, Endodeoxyribonucleases, Gene Transfer, Horizontal, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Proton-Translocating ATPases, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins, Animalia, Eukaryota, Saccharomyces
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:18447
Deposited On:20 Aug 2015 15:42

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