Aug 15, 2009

The population and evolutionary dynamics of homologous gene recombination in bacterial populations

PLoS Genetics
Bruce R Levin, Omar E Cornejo

Abstract

In bacteria, recombination is a rare event, not a part of the reproductive process. Nevertheless, recombination -- broadly defined to include the acquisition of genes from external sources, i.e., horizontal gene transfer (HGT) -- plays a central role as a source of variation for adaptive evolution in many species of bacteria. Much of niche expansion, resistance to antibiotics and other environmental stresses, virulence, and other characteristics that make bacteria interesting and problematic, is achieved through the expression of genes and genetic elements obtained from other populations of bacteria of the same and different species, as well as from eukaryotes and archaea. While recombination of homologous genes among members of the same species has played a central role in the development of the genetics and molecular biology of bacteria, the contribution of homologous gene recombination (HGR) to bacterial evolution is not at all clear. Also, not so clear are the selective pressures responsible for the evolution and maintenance of transformation, the only bacteria-encoded form of HGR. Using a semi-stochastic simulation of mutation, recombination, and selection within bacterial populations and competition between populations, w...Continue Reading

  • References55
  • Citations37

References

  • References55
  • Citations37

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Transformation, Genetic
Mycoplasma pneumoniae
Haemophilus influenzae
Genes
Antibiotic throat preparations
Helicobacter pylori
NCS1 gene
Pseudo brand of pseudoephedrine
Antifungal Antibiotics, Topical
Environment

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