horizontal gene transfer

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Related to horizontal gene transfer: vertical gene transfer

horizontal gene transfer

The transfer of genetic material from one organism to another by a process other than reproduction, as in the conjugation of bacteria. Also called lateral gene transfer.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

horizontal gene transfer

the transfer of genetic material directly from one organism to another by various processes, without REPRODUCTION. Natural agents, including VIRUSES and PLASMIDS, can transfer genes horizontally between individuals. These enter cells and multiply within them either extrachromosomally or integrated into the GENOME. In BACTERIA, horizontal gene transfer is mediated by the naturally-occurring processes of CONJUGATION, TRANSDUCTION and TRANSFORMATION. The transfer process brings about the spread of new genes within and between populations, allowing adaptation to a changing environment. Broad host range transfers involve members of different species/genera, whilst those between closely related bacteria are narrow host range.

The rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is largely a consequence of horizontal gene transfer. The process is viewed as a major driving force in EVOLUTION.

Transfer of natural agents is limited by various barriers that counter gene flow, such as INCOMPATIBILITY, restriction (see MODIFICATION AND RESTRICTION SYSTEM), lack of appropriate RECEPTORS and inactivation of the genetic material or host. However, artificial vectors, constructed by combining parts of various natural agents, have been designed to overcome such barriers. Horizontal gene transfer is also called lateral gene transfer. Compare VERTICAL GENE TRANSFER.

Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Genome analysis of Elysia chlorotica egg DNA provides no evidence for horizontal gene transfer into the germ line of this kieptoplastic mollusc.
Boto, "Horizontal gene transfer in the acquisition of novel traits by metazoans," Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol.
The occurrence of the chd and IS-Olup in seven other degrading strains suggests horizontal gene transfer of the chd gene [31].
Beyond the horizontal gene transfer, the loss and acquisition of functional modules are important in the process of rapid bacterial development of resistance [11, 12].
Two issues of interest to consumers are the possibility of allergic reactions and horizontal gene transfer, Giannopoulos says.
There is a chapter on the evolution of microbes and the important topic of horizontal gene transfer as well as methods of gene sequencing and cloning.
Horizontal gene transfer in bacterial and archaeal complete genomes.
This team developed the bWare containment module for reducing the risk of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) while remaining compatible with existing iGEM devices.
The other is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the transfer of DNA from one organism to another, which is common among microbes yet rarely seen in animals.
A 2008 paper in the journal (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18801324) Environmental Biosafety Research by an Australian researcher who reviewed the risks of GMOs associated with horizontal gene transfer concluded the potential danger was "negligible."
The [bla.sub.NDM-1]on plasmid allows the gene to be readily transferred between different strains, including different genus/family of bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. Unlike other carbapenemase resistance genes, [bla.sub.NDM-1] carrying plasmids contain several antibiotic resistance genes such that the recipient bacterium is resistant to all antibiotics apart from tigecycline and colistin.
Some researchers focus on the identification of important plasmid backbone genes that are involved in horizontal gene transfer (HGT) or replication within bacterial hosts [15, 16].

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