Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 163–170 | Cite as

Quartet Analysis of Putative Horizontal Gene Transfer in Crenarchaeota

  • Travers H. Ching
  • Brandon A. YozaEmail author
  • Qing X. Li
Original Paper


Horizontal gene transfers (HGT) between four Crenarchaeota species (Metallosphaera cuprina Ar-4T, Acidianus hospitalis W1T, Vulcanisaeta moutnovskia 768-28T, and Pyrobaculum islandicum DSM 4184T) were investigated with quartet analysis. Strong support was found for individual genes that disagree with the phylogeny of the majority, implying genomic mosaicism. One such gene, a ferredoxin-related gene, was investigated further and incorporated into a larger phylogeny, which provided evidence for HGT of this gene from the Vulcanisaeta lineage to the Acidianus lineage. This is the first application of quartet analysis of HGT for the phylum Crenarchaeota. The results have shown that quartet analysis is a powerful technique to screen homologous sequences for putative HGTs and is useful in visually describing genomic mosaicism and HGT within four taxa.


Quartet analysis Horizontal gene transfer Crenarchaeota Genetic mosaicism 



We thank Daniel Rubinoff for helpful discussions. The work was supported in part by the U.S. ONR HEET (N00014-11-1-0391), National Center for Research Resources (5P20RR016467-11) and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (8 P20 GM103466-11) from the National Institutes of Health.

Supplementary material

239_2013_9607_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (22 kb)
Supplemental file A: Phylogenies. Compilation of phylogenetic graphs of 26S and 16S. (PDF 22 kb)
239_2013_9607_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (27 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 26 kb)
239_2013_9607_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (26 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 26 kb)
239_2013_9607_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (27 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 26 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Travers H. Ching
    • 1
  • Brandon A. Yoza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qing X. Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biosciences and BioengineeringUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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