Horizontal Gene Transfer

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) refers to the transfer of genes between organisms in a manner other than traditional reproduction. Also termed lateral gene transfer, it contrasts with vertical transfer, the transmission of genes from the parental generation to offspring via sexual or asexual reproduction. HGT has been shown to be an important factor in the evolution of many organisms, including bacteria, plants and humans.

Horizontal gene transfer is the primary reason for bacterial antibiotic resistance and in the evolution of bacteria that can degrade novel compounds such as human-created pesticides. This horizontal gene transfer often involves plasmids. Genes that are responsible for antibiotic resistance in one species of bacteria can be transferred to another species of bacteria through various mechanisms (e.g., via F-pilus), subsequently arming the antibiotic resistant genes' recipient against antibiotics, which is becoming a medical challenge to deal with. This is the most critical reason that antibiotics must not be consumed and administered to patients without appropriate prescription from a medical physician.

Most thinking in genetics has focused upon vertical transfer, but there is a growing awareness that horizontal gene transfer is a highly significant phenomenon and amongst single-celled organisms perhaps the dominant form of genetic transfer.

Artificial horizontal gene transfer is a form of genetic engineering.

Read more about Horizontal Gene TransferHistory, Mechanism, Viruses, Prokaryotes, Eukaryotes, Artificial Horizontal Gene Transfer, Importance in Evolution

Other articles related to "horizontal gene transfer, horizontal, genes, gene, transfer":

Horizontal Gene Transfer - Importance in Evolution - Genes
... This list is incomplete you can help by expanding it There is evidence for historical horizontal transfer of the following genes Lycopene cyclase for carotenoid ...
Difficulty of Defining "species" and Identifying Particular Species
... Horizontal gene transfer makes it even more difficult to define the word "species" ... There is strong evidence of horizontal gene transfer between very dissimilar groups of prokaryotes, and at least occasionally between dissimilar groups of eukaryotes and Williamson argues that there is ... All definitions of the word "species" assume that an organism gets all its genes from one or two parents that are very like that organism, but horizontal gene transfer makes that assumption false ...
Gene - Changing Concept
... The concept of the gene has changed considerably (see history section) ... It was also previously believed that one gene makes one protein this concept was overthrown by the discovery of alternative splicing and trans-splicing ... The definition of a gene is still changing ...
Rafflesiaceae - Horizontal Gene Transfer
... A number of mitochondrial genes in the Rafflesiaceae appear to have come from their hosts ... for other parts of the genome), this is believed to be the result of horizontal gene transfer ...
History Of Evolutionary Thought - Late 20th Century - Microbiology, Horizontal Gene Transfer, and Endosymbiosis
... came with the discovery in Japan in 1959 of horizontal gene transfer ... This transfer of genetic material between different species of bacteria came to the attention of scientists because it played a major role in the spread of antibiotic resistance ... to expand, it has been suggested that lateral transfer of genetic material has played an important role in the evolution of all organisms ...

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