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Details of a Case of Gene Transfer Between Species



(p. A7) . . . in recent years, scientists have pinpointed many instances of horizontal gene transfer--genes being ferried from one species into an entirely unrelated species that happens to live in the same environment.

For example, a gene from a species of bacteria has been discovered in the genome of the coffee berry borer beetle, where it enables the beetle to feed exclusively on coffee beans. It is through horizontal gene transfer that bacteria typically develop antibiotic resistance.

A few months ago, a team of U.K. researchers concluded that the "jumping gene" method enabled humans to acquire more than 145 foreign genes from bacteria, viruses and fungi over the course of our evolution.

The big mystery is: How does this happen? In the latest study, researchers suggest a possible route whereby the genes of parasitic wasps jump into the genomes of butterflies and moths.



For the full story, see:

GAUTAM NAIK. "Scientists Find How Genes Jump Species." The Wall Street Journal (Fri., Sept. 18, 2015): A7.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Sept. 17, 2016, and has the title "Scientists Learn How Genes Can Jump Between Species.")


The academic paper reporting the possible details of a process of horizontal gene transfer, is:

Gasmi, Laila, Helene Boulain, Jeremy Gauthier, Aurelie Hua-Van, Karine Musset, Agata K. Jakubowska, Jean-Marc Aury, Anne-Nathalie Volkoff, Elisabeth Huguet, Salvador Herrero, and Jean-Michel Drezen. "Recurrent Domestication by Lepidoptera of Genes from Their Parasites Mediated by Bracoviruses." PLoS Genetics 11, no. 9 (Sept. 17, 2015): e1005470.






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