Evolution of Isopenicillin N Synthase Genes May Have Involved Horizontal Gene Transfer

Mol Biol Evol. 1990 Sep;7(5):399-406. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a040615.


The isopenicillin N synthase genes from three fungal species, three Gram-positive species, and one Gram-negative bacterial species share an unusually high sequence similarity. A phylogenetic analysis was carried out to determine which type of evolutionary scenario best accounts for this similarity. The most plausible scenario is one in which a horizontal gene-transfer event, from the prokaryotes to the eukaryotes, occurred at a time close to the divergence between the Gram-positive and the Gram-negative bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Biological Evolution
  • Fungi / enzymology
  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics*
  • Transfection*


  • Oxidoreductases
  • isopenicillin N synthetase