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A comparison of the nucleotide sequences of theadk andrecA genes of pathogenic and commensalNeisseria species: Evidence for extensive interspecies recombination withinadk


The sequences of the adenylate kinase gene (adk) and the RecA gene (recA) were determined from the same isolates ofNeisseria gonorrhoeae, N. meningitidis, N. lactamica, N. polysaccharea, N. cinerea, N. mucosa, N. pharyngis var.flava, N. flavescens, andN. animalis. The patterns of sequence divergence observed atadk andrecA were very different. Dendrograms constructed from therecA data using two different algorithms were statistically robust and were congruent with each other and with the relationships between the species previously proposed using other data. In contrast, the dendrograms derived from theadk data were noncongruent with each other, and with those from therecA data, and were statistically poorly supported. These results, along with the uniform distribution of pairwise sequence divergences between the species atadk, suggest there has been a history of interspecies recombination within theadk gene of the humanNeisseria species which has obscured the phylogenetic relationships between the species. This view was supported by Sawyer's runs test, and the Index of Association (IA) between codons, which provided significant evidence for interspecies recombination between theadk genes from the humanNeisseria species, but no evidence of interspecies recombination between therecA sequences.

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Feil, E., Zhou, J., Smith, J.M. et al. A comparison of the nucleotide sequences of theadk andrecA genes of pathogenic and commensalNeisseria species: Evidence for extensive interspecies recombination withinadk . J Mol Evol 43, 631–640 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02202111

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Key words

  • Neisseria
  • Interspecies recombination
  • Adenylate kinase
  • Index of Association
  • Linkage disequilibrium
  • Codon linkage