Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of transcriptionalregulation in Escherichia coli

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Background: Most bacterial genes were acquired by horizontalgene transfer from other bacteria instead of being inherited bycontinuous vertical descent from an ancient ancestor}. To understand howthe regulation of these {acquired} genes evolved, we examined theevolutionary histories of transcription factors and of regulatoryinteractions from the model bacterium Escherichia coli K12. Results:Although most transcription factors have paralogs, these usually arose byhorizontal gene transfer rather than by duplication within the E. colilineage, as previously believed. In general, most neighbor regulators --regulators that are adjacent to genes that they regulate -- were acquiredby horizontal gene transfer, while most global regulators evolvedvertically within the gamma-Proteobacteria. ... continued below

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Price, Morgan N.; Dehal, Paramvir S. & Arkin, Adam P. December 20, 2007.

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Background: Most bacterial genes were acquired by horizontalgene transfer from other bacteria instead of being inherited bycontinuous vertical descent from an ancient ancestor}. To understand howthe regulation of these {acquired} genes evolved, we examined theevolutionary histories of transcription factors and of regulatoryinteractions from the model bacterium Escherichia coli K12. Results:Although most transcription factors have paralogs, these usually arose byhorizontal gene transfer rather than by duplication within the E. colilineage, as previously believed. In general, most neighbor regulators --regulators that are adjacent to genes that they regulate -- were acquiredby horizontal gene transfer, while most global regulators evolvedvertically within the gamma-Proteobacteria. Neighbor regulators wereoften acquired together with the adjacent operon that they regulate, sothe proximity might be maintained by repeated transfers (like "selfishoperons"). Many of the as-yet-uncharacterized (putative) regulators havealso been acquired together with adjacent genes, so we predict that theseare neighbor regulators as well. When we analyzed the histories ofregulatory interactions, we found that the evolution of regulation byduplication was rare, and surprisingly, many of the regulatoryinteractions that are shared between paralogs result from convergentevolution. Another surprise was that horizontally transferred genes aremore likely than other genes to be regulated by multiple regulators, andmost of this complex regulation probably evolved after the transfer.Conclusions: Our results highlight the rapid evolution of niche-specificgene regulation in bacteria.

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  • Journal Name: Genome Biology; Journal Volume: 9; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2008

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  • Report No.: LBNL--63699
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 932501
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc900598

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 20, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 25, 2017, 3:51 p.m.

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Price, Morgan N.; Dehal, Paramvir S. & Arkin, Adam P. Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of transcriptionalregulation in Escherichia coli, article, December 20, 2007; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc900598/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.