Horizontal gene transfer of a plastid gene in the non-photosynthetic flowering plants Orobanche and Phelipanche (Orobanchaceae).Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2007 Jun; 43(3):974-85.MP
Plastid sequences are among the most widely used in phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies in flowering plants, where they are usually assumed to evolve like non-recombining, uniparentally transmitted, single-copy genes. Among others, this assumption can be violated by intracellular gene transfer (IGT) within cells or by the exchange of genes across mating barriers (horizontal gene transfer, HGT). We report on HGT of a plastid region including rps2, trnL-F, and rbcL in a group of non-photosynthetic flowering plants. Species of the parasitic broomrape genus Phelipanche harbor two copies of rps2, a plastid ribosomal gene, one corresponding to the phylogenetic position of the respective species, the other being horizontally acquired from the related broomrape genus Orobanche. While the vertically transmitted copies probably reside within the plastid genome, the localization of the horizontally acquired copies is not known. With both donor and recipient being parasitic plants, a possible pathway for the exchange of genetic material is via a commonly attacked host.