Quartet Analysis of Putative Horizontal Gene Transfer in Crenarchaeota
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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.
KeywordsQuartet 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.