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Horizontal Gene Transfer in Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases Including Leucine-Specific Subtypes

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons50135

Dohm,  Juliane C.
Dept. of Vertebrate Genomics (Head: Hans Lehrach), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons50613

Vingron,  Martin
Gene regulation (Martin Vingron), Dept. of Computational Molecular Biology (Head: Martin Vingron), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

Staub,  Eike
Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Dohm, J. C., Vingron, M., & Staub, E. (2006). Horizontal Gene Transfer in Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases Including Leucine-Specific Subtypes. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 63(4), 437-447. doi:10.1007/s00239-005-0094-3.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-83AF-D
Abstract
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases catalyze a fundamental reaction for the flow of genetic information from RNA to protein. Their presence in all organisms known today highlights their important role in the early evolution of life. We investigated the evolutionary history of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases on the basis of sequence data from more than 200 Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota. Phylogenetic profiles are in agreement with previous observations that many genes for aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases were transferred horizontally between species from all domains of life. We extended these findings by a detailed analysis of the history of leucyl-tRNA synthetases. Thereby, we identified a previously undetected case of horizontal gene transfer from Bacteria to Archaea based on phylogenetic profiles, trees, and networks. This means that, finally, the last subfamily of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases has lost its exceptional position as the sole subfamily that is devoid of horizontal gene transfer. Furthermore, the leucyl-tRNA synthetase phylogenetic tree suggests a dichotomy of the archaeal/eukaryotic-cytosolic and bacterial/eukaryotic-mitochondrial proteins. We argue that the traditional division of life into Prokaryota (non-chimeric) and Eukaryota (chimeric) is favorable compared to Woese’s trichotomy into Archaea/Bacteria/Eukaryota. Electronic Supplementary Material Electronic Supplementary material is available for this article at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00239-005-0094-3 and accessible for authorised users.