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Evolutionary origins of the eukaryotic shikimate pathway : gene fusions, horizontal gene transfer, and endosymbiotic replacements

Richards, Thomas A and Dacks, Joel B and Campbell, Samantha A and Blanchard, Jeffrey L and Foster, Peter G and McLeod, Rima and Roberts, Craig W (2006) Evolutionary origins of the eukaryotic shikimate pathway : gene fusions, horizontal gene transfer, and endosymbiotic replacements. Eukaryotic Cell, 5 (9). pp. 1517-1531. ISSN 1535-9778

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Abstract

Currently the shikimate pathway is reported as a metabolic feature of prokaryotes, ascomycete fungi, apicomplexans, and plants. The plant shikimate pathway enzymes have similarities to prokaryote homologues and are largely active in chloroplasts, suggesting ancestry from the plastid progenitor genome. Toxoplasma gondii, which also possesses an alga-derived plastid organelle, encodes a shikimate pathway with similarities to ascomycete genes, including a five-enzyme pentafunctional arom. These data suggests that the shikimate pathway and the pentafunctional arom either had an ancient origin in the eukaryotes or was conveyed by eukaryote-to-eukaryote horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We expand sampling and analyses of the shikimate pathway genes to include the oomycetes, ciliates, diatoms, basidiomycetes, zygomycetes, and the green and red algae. Sequencing of cDNA from Tetrahymena thermophila confirmed the presence of a pentafused arom, as in fungi and T. gondii. Phylogenies and taxon distribution suggest that the arom gene fusion event may be an ancient eukaryotic innovation. Conversely, the Plantae lineage (represented here by both Viridaeplantae and the red algae) acquired different prokaryotic genes for all seven steps of the shikimate pathway. Two of the phylogenies suggest a derivation of the Plantae genes from the cyanobacterial plastid progenitor genome, but if the full Plantae pathway was originally of cyanobacterial origin, then the five other shikimate pathway genes were obtained from a minimum of two other eubacterial genomes. Thus, the phylogenies demonstrate both separate HGTs and shared derived HGTs within the Plantae clade either by primary HGT transfer or secondarily via the plastid progenitor genome. The shared derived characters support the holophyly of the Plantae lineage and a single ancestral primary plastid endosymbiosis. Our analyses also pinpoints a minimum of 50 gene/domain loss events, demonstrating that loss and replacement events have been an important process in eukaryote genome evolution.

Item type: Article
ID code: 9097
Keywords: phylogenetic tree selection, apicomplexan parasites, red algae, photosynthetic eukaryotes, common origin, plastids, enzyme, single, chloroplast, genome, Internal medicine, Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology
Subjects: Medicine > Internal medicine
Science > Natural history > Genetics
Science > Microbiology > Immunology
Department: Faculty of Science > Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Strathprints Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2009 12:19
    Last modified: 04 Sep 2014 20:16
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/9097

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