Foreign gene recruitment to the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway in diatoms

Chan, Cheong Xin, Baglivi, Francesca L., Jenkins, Christina E. and Bhattacharya, Debashish (2013) Foreign gene recruitment to the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway in diatoms. Mobile Genetic Elements, 3 5: e27313.1-e27313.7. doi:10.4161/mge.27313

Author Chan, Cheong Xin
Baglivi, Francesca L.
Jenkins, Christina E.
Bhattacharya, Debashish
Title Foreign gene recruitment to the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway in diatoms
Journal name Mobile Genetic Elements   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2159-2543
Publication date 2013-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.4161/mge.27313
Volume 3
Issue 5
Start page e27313.1
End page e27313.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication Austin, TX, United States
Publisher Landes Bioscience
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Diatoms are highly successful marine and freshwater algae that contribute up to 20% of global carbon fixation. These species are leading candidates for biofuel production owing to ease of culturing and high fatty acid content. To assist in strain improvement and downstream applications for potential use as a biofuel, it is important to understand the evolution of lipid biosynthesis in diatoms. The evolutionary history of diatoms is however complicated by likely multiple endosymbioses involving the capture of foreign cells and horizontal gene transfer into the host genome. Using a phylogenomic approach, we assessed the evolutionary history of 12 diatom genes putatively encoding functions related to lipid biosynthesis. We found evidence of gene transfer likely from a green algal source for seven of these genes, with the remaining showing either vertical inheritance or evolutionary histories too complicated to interpret given current genome data. The functions of horizontally transferred genes encompass all aspects of lipid biosynthesis (initiation, biosynthesis, and desaturation of fatty acids) as well as fatty acid elongation, and are not restricted to plastid-targeted proteins. Our findings demonstrate that the transfer, duplication, and subfunctionalization of genes were key steps in the evolution of lipid biosynthesis in diatoms and other photosynthetic eukaryotes. This target pathway for biofuel research is highly chimeric and surprisingly, our results suggest that research done on related genes in green algae may have application to diatom models.
Keyword Diatoms
Fatty acid biosynthesis
Horizontal gene transfer
Lipid metabolism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Created: Mon, 16 Dec 2013, 11:46:48 EST by Cheong Xin Chan on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience