Horizontal Gene Transfer in Prokaryotic Microbiomes
Javier Tamames and Alex Mira
from: Metagenomics: Theory, Methods and Applications (Edited by: Diana Marco). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)
Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) is a very important force driving the evolution of prokaryotic species, since it allows the acquisition of new genes that can facilitate the adaptation to different environments and conditions. The availability of metagenomic sequencing can help to understand how HGT relates to community composition and environmental factors. Nevertheless, metagenomic sequences have particular characteristics that are not especially appropriate for the study of HGT, mainly their short length and their unknown origin. We describe here some methods to analyse the extent and nature of HGT in bacterial metagenomes, and study real-case examples of gene transfer in metagenomic sequences. The results show that the extent of HGT is influenced by the physical and ecological features of the environment read more ...