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Fungus-originated genes in the genomes of cereal and pasture grasses acquired through ancient lateral transfer

© 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.

History

Publication Date

16/11/2020

Journal

Scientific Reports

Volume

10

Issue

1

Article Number

19883

Pagination

12p.

Publisher

Springer Nature

ISSN

2045-2322

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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