Why Are the Genomes of Endosymbiotic Bacteria So Stable?

Trends Genet. 2003 Apr;19(4):176-80. doi: 10.1016/S0168-9525(03)00041-6.


The comparative analysis of three strains of the endosymbiotic bacterium Buchnera aphidicola has revealed high genome stability associated with an almost complete absence of chromosomal rearrangements and horizontal gene transfer events during the past 150 million years. The loss of genes involved in DNA uptake and recombination in the initial stages of endosymbiosis probably underlies this stability. Gene loss, which was extensive during the initial steps of Buchnera evolution, has continued in the different Buchnera lineages since their divergence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Buchnera / genetics*
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Gene Duplication
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Transformation, Genetic