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Review
. 2009 Jul;101(3):169-71.
doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2009.03.010. Epub 2009 May 18.

Lateral Gene Transfer, Lineage-Specific Gene Expansion and the Evolution of Nucleo Cytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses

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Review

Lateral Gene Transfer, Lineage-Specific Gene Expansion and the Evolution of Nucleo Cytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses

Jonathan Filée. J Invertebr Pathol. .

Abstract

Nucleo Cytoplasmic Large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) are a diverse group that infects a wide range of eukaryotic hosts (for example, vertebrates, insects, protists,...) and also show a huge range in genome size (between 100kb and 1.2Mb). Here I review some recent results that shed light on the origin and genome evolution of these viruses. Current data suggests that NCLDVs could have originated from a simple and ancient viral ancestor with a small subset of 30-35 genes encoding replication and structural proteins. Subsequent lateral gene transfer of both cellular genes and diverse families of Mobile Genetic Elements, followed by massive lineage-specific gene duplications is probably responsible for the huge diversity of genome size and composition found in extant NCLDVs.

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