Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Genomics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Reevaluation of the evolutionary events within recA/RAD51 phylogeny

Sree V Chintapalli13, Gaurav Bhardwaj23, Jagadish Babu45, Loukia Hadjiyianni3, Yoojin Hong46, George K Todd17, Casey A Boosalis17, Zhenhai Zhang4, Xiaofan Zhou8, Hong Ma8, Andriy Anishkin4, Damian B van Rossum45* and Randen L Patterson123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, USA

2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, USA

3 Center for Translational Bioscience and Computing, University of California, Davis, USA

4 Center for Computational Proteomics, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA

5 Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA

6 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA

7 Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group, University of California, Davis, USA

8 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Genomics 2013, 14:240  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-240

Published: 10 April 2013

Abstract

Background

The recA/RAD51 gene family encodes a diverse set of recombinase proteins that affect homologous recombination, DNA-repair, and genome stability. The recA gene family is expressed across all three domains of life - Eubacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes - and even in some viruses. To date, efforts to resolve the deep evolutionary origins of this ancient protein family have been hindered by the high sequence divergence between paralogous groups (i.e. ~30% average pairwise identity).

Results

Through large taxon sampling and the use of a phylogenetic algorithm designed for inferring evolutionary events in highly divergent paralogs, we obtained a robust, parsimonious and more refined phylogenetic history of the recA/RAD51 superfamily.

Conclusions

In summary, our model for the evolution of recA/RAD51 family provides a better understanding of the ancient origin of recA proteins and the multiple events that lead to the diversification of recA homologs in eukaryotes, including the discovery of additional RAD51 sub-families.

Keywords:
Recombinase; recA; RAD51; Phylogenetic inference