Host-to-Parasite Gene Transfer in Flowering Plants: Phylogenetic Evidence from Malpighiales

  title={Host-to-Parasite Gene Transfer in Flowering Plants: Phylogenetic Evidence from Malpighiales},
  author={Charles C. Davis and Kenneth J. Wurdack},
  pages={676 - 678}
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between sexually unrelated species has recently been documented for higher plants, but mechanistic explanations for HGTs have remained speculative. We show that a parasitic relationship may facilitate HGT between flowering plants. The endophytic parasites Rafflesiaceae are placed in the diverse order Malpighiales. Our multigene phylogenetic analyses of Malpighiales show that mitochrodrial (matR) and nuclear loci (18S ribosomal DNA and PHYC) place Rafflesiaceae in… 

Massive Mitochondrial Gene Transfer in a Parasitic Flowering Plant Clade

This study is the first to comprehensively assess the magnitude of HGT in plants involving a genome and a species interaction where it has been hypothesized to be potentially rampant, and indicates that HGT involving mitochondrial genes is substantially higher than previously thought.

Horizontal acquisition of multiple mitochondrial genes from a parasitic plant followed by gene conversion with host mitochondrial genes

This study reports the best evidence to date that multiple mitochondrial genes can be transferred via a single HGT event and that transfer occurred via a strictly DNA-level intermediate, and suggests that transferred genes may be evolutionarily important in generating mitochondrial genetic diversity.

Mitochondrial DNA suggests at least 11 origins of parasitism in angiosperms and reveals genomic chimerism in parasitic plants

The results of a phylogenetic analysis of 102 species of seed plants indicate that the parasitic lifestyle has arisen repeatedly in angiosperm evolutionary history and results in increasing parasite genomic chimerism over time.

Ancient mitochondrial gene transfer between fungi and the orchids.

This work presents multiple lines of evidence documenting horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between the mitogenomes of fungi and the ancestors of the orchids, and demonstrates that the length intergenic spacer regions of angiosperm mitogenome can effectively fossilize the genomic remains of ancient, non-plant organisms.

Plant genetics: Gene transfer from parasitic to host plants

Two new cases of horizontal gene transfer are described, from parasitic flowering plants to their host flowering plants, and phylogenetic and biogeographic evidence that this occurred as a result of direct physical contact between the two is presented.

Frequent, phylogenetically local horizontal transfer of the cox1 group I Intron in flowering plant mitochondria.

It is proposed that the cox1 intron was originally seeded into angiosperms by a single transfer from fungi, with all subsequent inferred transfers occurring from one angiosperm to another.

Horizontal transfer of expressed genes in a parasitic flowering plant

The results establish for the first time a substantive number of HGTs in a plant host-parasite system, and the elevated rate of unidirectional host-to- parasite gene transfer raises the possibility that H GTs may provide a fitness benefit to Rafflesia for maintaining these genes.

Evolution of a horizontally acquired legume gene, albumin 1, in the parasitic plant Phelipanche aegyptiaca and related species

The HGT-derived albumins in Phelipanche represent a novel example of how plants can acquire genes from other plants via HGT that then go on to duplicate, evolve, and retain the specialized features required to perform a unique host-derived function.



Mitochondrial DNA sequences reveal the photosynthetic relatives of Rafflesia, the world's largest flower.

The results indicate that the previous significant difficulties associated with phylogenetic placement of holoparasitic plants may be overcome by using mitochondrial DNA so that a broader understanding of the origins and evolution of parasitism may emerge.

Horizontal gene transfer from flowering plants to Gnetum

  • H. WonS. Renner
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2003
Molecular clock dating, using calibrations provided by gnetalean macrofossils, suggests an age of 5 to 2 million years for the Asian clade that received the horizontal transfer of nad1 intron 2 and adjacent exons b and c from an asterid to Gnetum.

Widespread horizontal transfer of mitochondrial genes in flowering plants

It is shown that standard mitochondrial genes, encoding ribosomal and respiratory proteins, are subject to evolutionarily frequent horizontal transfer between distantly related flowering plants, implying the existence of mechanisms for the delivery of DNA between unrelated plants and indicating that horizontal transfer is also a force in plant nuclear genomes.

Systematics of Vitaceae from the viewpoint of plastid rbcL DNA sequence data

A phylogenetic analysis of plastid rbcL DNA sequences for 20 species of Vitaceae s.l. (including Leeaceae) and eight outgroups from Dilleniaceae and Santalales is presented, showing a good correspondence with hypothesized floral and vegetative ontogenetic trends.

The earliest angiosperms: evidence from mitochondrial, plastid and nuclear genomes

This study demonstrates that Amboreella, Nymphaeales and Illiciales-Trimeniaceae-Austrobaileya represent the first stage of angiosperm evolution, with Amborella being sister to all other angiosperms, and shows that Gnetales are related to the conifers and are not sister to the angios perms, thus refuting the Anthophyte Hypothesis.

High rates of nucleotide substitution in nuclear small-subunit (18S) rDNA from holoparasitic flowering plants

High substitution rates appear to be associated only with those parasitic angiosperms that have developed a highly modified haustorial system and extreme nutritional dependence upon the host.

Molecular Ecology and Evolution: Approaches and Applications

The role of molecular genetics in speciation studies, including the origin and evolution of species differences in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, and the evolutionary ecology of Daphnia are studied.