Section 54
Chapter 53,103

Evolution of antifreeze protein genes in the diatom genus fragilariopsis: evidence for horizontal gene transfer, gene duplication and episodic diversifying selection

Sorhannus, U.

Evolutionary Bioinformatics Online 7: 279-289


ISSN/ISBN: 1176-9343
PMID: 22253534
DOI: 10.4137/ebo.s8321
Accession: 053102399

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Hypotheses about horizontal transfer of antifreeze protein genes to ice-living diatoms were addressed using two different statistical methods available in the program Prunier. The role of diversifying selection in driving the differentiation of a set of antifreeze protein genes in the diatom genus Fragilariopsis was also investigated. Four horizontal gene transfer events were identified. Two of these took place between two major eukaryote lineages, that is from the diatom Chaetoceros neogracile to the copepod Stephos longipes and from a basidiomycete clade to a monophyletic group, consisting of the diatom species Fragilariopsis curta and Fragilariopsis cylindrus. The remaining two events included transfers from an ascomycete lineage to the proteobacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca and from the proteobacterium Polaribacter irgensii to a group composed of 4 proteobacterium species. After the Fragilariopsis lineage acquired the antifreeze protein gene from the basidiomycetes, it duplicated and went through episodic evolution, characterized by strong positive selection acting on short segments of the branches in the tree. This selection pattern suggests that the paralogs differentiated functionally over relatively short time periods. Taken together, the results obtained here indicate that the group of antifreeze protein genes considered here have a complex evolutionary history.

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