Nov 8, 2018

Desiccation Does Not Drastically Increase the Accessibility of Foreign DNA to the Nuclear Genomes: Evidence from the Frequency of Endosymbiotic DNA Transfer

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Xi-Xi LiDeng-Ke Niu


Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a widely accepted force in the evolution of prokaryotic genomes. However, in eukaryotes, it is still in hot debate. Some bdelloid rotifers that are resistant to extreme desiccation and radiation were reported to have a very high level of HGTs. However, a similar report in another resistant invertebrate, tardigrades, has been mired in controversy. The DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced by prolonged desiccation have been postulated to open the gateway of nuclear genome for foreign DNA integration and thus facilitate the HGT process. If so, the rate of endosymbiotic DNA transfer should also be enhanced. We first surveyed the abundance of nuclear mitochondrial DNAs (NUMTs) and nuclear plastid DNAs (NUPTs) in three groups of eukaryotes that are extremely resistant to desiccation, bdelloid rotifers, A. vaga and A. ricciae, tardigrades, H. dujardini and R. varieornatus, and the resurrection plants, D. hygrometricum and S. tamariscina. Excessive NUMTs or NUPTs have not been detected. Furthermore, we compared nine groups of desiccation-tolerant organisms with their desiccation-sensitive relatives but did not find significant difference in the NUMT/NUPT contents. Desiccation could induce DSBs, but i...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Non-Homologous DNA End-Joining
Repetitive Region
Halisarca dujardini
DNA, Mitochondrial
Hymenophyllum hygrometricum
Ramazzottius varieornatus

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