Computational and phylogenetic validation of nematode horizontal gene transfer
1 Department of Plant Pathology, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2 Bioinformatics Research Center, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
BMC Biology 2011, 9:9 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-9Published: 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.