Massive horizontal gene transfer between distinct grass lineages
Plant Biodiversity and Evolution Research Group member participated on genomic screening that revealed the presence of ribosomal DNA of panicoid origin in several wild Hordeum (barley) species. The Pooideae and Panicoideae lineages separated from each other around 60 million years ago and are reproductively isolated. During the past 1–5 million years, at least nine independent transfers of panicoid DNA into Hordeum seem to have occurred, confirming that the transfer of foreign DNA is not an isolated event, at least among the grasses.
Mahelka V., Krak K., Kopecký D., Fehrer J., Šafář J., Bartoš J., Hobza R., Blavet N. & Blattner F. R. (2017): Multiple horizontal transfers of nuclear ribosomal genes between phylogenetically distinct grass lineages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114: 1726–1731. Our publication is found here: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/7/1726
Figure: Genomic region of Hordeum bogdanii harboring the DNA of panicoid origin