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Computational and phylogenetic validation of nematode horizontal gene transfer

Elizabeth H Scholl1 and David McK Bird12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Plant Pathology, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

2 Bioinformatics Research Center, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

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BMC Biology 2011, 9:9  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-9

Published: 22 February 2011


Sequencing of expressed genes has shown that nematodes, particularly the plant-parasitic nematodes, have genes purportedly acquired from other kingdoms by horizontal gene transfer. The prevailing orthodoxy is that such transfer has been a driving force in the evolution of niche specificity, and a recent paper in BMC Evolutionary Biology that presents a detailed phylogenetic analysis of cellulase genes in the free-living nematode Pristionchus pacificus at the species, genus and family levels substantiates this hypothesis.

See research article: webcite