Ancient lateral gene transfer in the evolution of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Trends Microbiol. 2006 Feb;14(2):64-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2005.12.008. Epub 2006 Jan 18.


The recently sequenced genome of the predatory delta-proteobacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus provides many insights into its metabolism and evolution. Because its genes are reasonably uniform in G+C content, it was suggested that B. bacteriovorus actively resists recombination with foreign DNA and horizontal transfer of DNA from other bacteria. To investigate this further, we carried out a variety of phylogenetic and comparative genomics analyses using data from >200 microbial genomes, including several published delta-proteobacteria. Although there might be little evidence for the extensive recent transfer of genes, we demonstrate that ancient lateral gene acquisition has shaped the B. bacteriovorus genome to a great extent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bdellovibrio / genetics*
  • Deltaproteobacteria / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal*
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid