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Fungus-originated genes in the genomes of cereal and pasture grasses acquired through ancient lateral transfer
journal contributionposted on 2020-12-11, 04:48 authored by H Shinozuka, M Shinozuka, Ellen de VriesEllen de Vries, Tim SawbridgeTim Sawbridge, German SpangenbergGerman Spangenberg, Benjamin CocksBenjamin Cocks
© 2020, The Author(s). Evidence for ancestral gene transfer between Epichloë fungal endophyte ancestors and their host grass species is described. From genomes of cool-season grasses (the Poeae tribe), two Epichloë-originated genes were identified through DNA sequence similarity analysis. The two genes showed 96% and 85% DNA sequence identities between the corresponding Epichloë genes. One of the genes was specific to the Loliinae sub-tribe. The other gene was more widely conserved in the Poeae and Triticeae tribes, including wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). The genes were independently transferred during the last 39 million years. The transferred genes were expressed in plant tissues, presumably retaining molecular functions. Multiple gene transfer events between the specific plant and fungal lineages are unique. A range of cereal crops is included in the Poeae and Triticeae tribes, and the Loliinae sub-tribe is consisted of economically important pasture and forage crops. Identification and characterisation of the 'natural' adaptation transgenes in the genomes of cereals, and pasture and forage grasses, that worldwide underpin the production of major foods, such as bread, meat, and milk, may change the ‘unnatural’ perception status of transgenic and gene-edited plants.