Symbiont Genes in Host Genomes: Fragments with a Future?
While lateral transfer is the rule in the evolutionary history of bacterial and archaeal genes, events of transfer from prokaryotes to eukaryotes are rare. Germline-transmitted animal symbionts, such as Wolbachia pipientis, are well placed to participate in such transfers. In a recent issue of Science, Dunning Hotopp et al. identified instances of transfer of Wolbachia DNA to host genomes. It is unknown whether these transfers represent innovation in animal evolution.
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