, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 537-542

Phylogenetic analysis of the isopenicillin-N-synthetase horizontal gene transfer

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A phylogenetic study of the isopenicillin-N-synthetase (IPNS) gene sequence from prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic producers of β-lactam antibiotics by means of a maximum-likelihood approach has been carried out. After performing an extensive search, rather than invoking a global molecular clock, the results obtained are best explained by a model with three rates of evolution. Grouped in decreasing order, these correspond toA. nidulans and then to the rest of the eukaryotes and prokaryotes, respectively. The estimated branching date between prokaryotic and fungal IPNS sequences (852 ±106 MY) strongly supports the hypothesis that the IPNS gene was horizontally transferred from bacterial β-lactam producers to filamentous fungi.

Correspondence to: A. Moya