Evolutionary change and phylogenetic relationships in light of horizontal gene transfer
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Horizontal gene transfer has, over the past 25 years, become a part of evolutionary thinking. In the present paper I discuss horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in relation to contingency, natural selection, evolutionary change speed and the Tree-of-Life endeavour, with the aim of contributing to the understanding of the role of HGT in evolutionary processes. In addition, the challenges that HGT imposes on the current view of evolution are emphasized.
KeywordsContingency evolutionary change rate horizontal gene transfer natural selection phylogenetic relationships
The author would like to thank Antonio G Valdecasas for the critically reading of the manuscript and Elena Bulmer for the English edition. The author also thanks the two anonymous reviewers and the associate editor for their useful comments. The author has been supported by a grant of Spanish DGI (CGL2013-41375-P).
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