Methods for the identification of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events and progress in related fields
LI Zhi-Jiang1,2, LI Hai-Quan1, DIAO Xian-Min1,2 1. National Millet Improvement Center of China, Institute of Millet Crops, Hebei Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Shijiaz-huang 050031, China; 2. College of Life Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050012, China
Horizontal gene transfer is the gene exchange between different organisms or different organelles, which occurs frequently in prokaryotes. Many newly identified horizontal transfer events in eukaryotes indicates that it is a common phenomenon in all organisms. This paper describes the concept of horizontal gene transfer, the standard for judging a hori-zontal gene transfer events, the character, the mode, the way of horizontal gene transfer, and its impact on gene and genome evolution. The analyses of phylogenetic tree, base composition, selection pressure, intron sequence comparison, inserted special sequence, and biased nucleotide substitution are the most common methods used in previous researches. Evidence accumulated demonstrated that transposable sequences are most likely undergoing horizontal transferring. Transformation, conjugation, and transduction are the main forms of horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes, but no clear clue was related with the mechanism of horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes. Horizontal gene transfer plays a special role in genetic, ge-nomic, and the biological evolution.