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Giant viruses, giant chimeras: the multiple evolutionary histories of Mimivirus genes.
BMC Evol Biol. 2008 Jan 18; 8:12.BE

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although capable to evolve, viruses are generally considered non-living entities because they are acellular and devoid of metabolism. However, the recent publication of the genome sequence of the Mimivirus, a giant virus that parasitises amoebas, strengthened the idea that viruses should be included in the tree of life. In fact, the first phylogenetic analyses of a few Mimivirus genes that are also present in cellular lineages suggested that it could define an independent branch in the tree of life in addition to the three domains, Bacteria, Archaea and Eucarya.

RESULTS

We tested this hypothesis by carrying out detailed phylogenetic analyses for all the conserved Mimivirus genes that have homologues in cellular organisms. We found no evidence supporting Mimivirus as a new branch in the tree of life. On the contrary, our phylogenetic trees strongly suggest that Mimivirus acquired most of these genes by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) either from its amoebal hosts or from bacteria that parasitise the same hosts. The detection of HGT events involving different eukaryotic donors suggests that the spectrum of hosts of Mimivirus may be larger than currently known.

CONCLUSION

The large number of genes acquired by Mimivirus from eukaryotic and bacterial sources suggests that HGT has been an important process in the evolution of its genome and the adaptation to parasitism.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, UMR CNRS 8079, Université Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France. david.moreira@u-psud.frNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18205905

Citation

Moreira, David, and Céline Brochier-Armanet. "Giant Viruses, Giant Chimeras: the Multiple Evolutionary Histories of Mimivirus Genes." BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 8, 2008, p. 12.
Moreira D, Brochier-Armanet C. Giant viruses, giant chimeras: the multiple evolutionary histories of Mimivirus genes. BMC Evol Biol. 2008;8:12.
Moreira, D., & Brochier-Armanet, C. (2008). Giant viruses, giant chimeras: the multiple evolutionary histories of Mimivirus genes. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8, 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-8-12
Moreira D, Brochier-Armanet C. Giant Viruses, Giant Chimeras: the Multiple Evolutionary Histories of Mimivirus Genes. BMC Evol Biol. 2008 Jan 18;8:12. PubMed PMID: 18205905.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Giant viruses, giant chimeras: the multiple evolutionary histories of Mimivirus genes. AU - Moreira,David, AU - Brochier-Armanet,Céline, Y1 - 2008/01/18/ PY - 2007/06/06/received PY - 2008/01/18/accepted PY - 2008/1/22/pubmed PY - 2008/4/1/medline PY - 2008/1/22/entrez SP - 12 EP - 12 JF - BMC evolutionary biology JO - BMC Evol Biol VL - 8 N2 - BACKGROUND: Although capable to evolve, viruses are generally considered non-living entities because they are acellular and devoid of metabolism. However, the recent publication of the genome sequence of the Mimivirus, a giant virus that parasitises amoebas, strengthened the idea that viruses should be included in the tree of life. In fact, the first phylogenetic analyses of a few Mimivirus genes that are also present in cellular lineages suggested that it could define an independent branch in the tree of life in addition to the three domains, Bacteria, Archaea and Eucarya. RESULTS: We tested this hypothesis by carrying out detailed phylogenetic analyses for all the conserved Mimivirus genes that have homologues in cellular organisms. We found no evidence supporting Mimivirus as a new branch in the tree of life. On the contrary, our phylogenetic trees strongly suggest that Mimivirus acquired most of these genes by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) either from its amoebal hosts or from bacteria that parasitise the same hosts. The detection of HGT events involving different eukaryotic donors suggests that the spectrum of hosts of Mimivirus may be larger than currently known. CONCLUSION: The large number of genes acquired by Mimivirus from eukaryotic and bacterial sources suggests that HGT has been an important process in the evolution of its genome and the adaptation to parasitism. SN - 1471-2148 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18205905/Giant_viruses_giant_chimeras:_the_multiple_evolutionary_histories_of_Mimivirus_genes_ L2 - https://bmcevolbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2148-8-12 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -