LATTECO: Lateral Gene Transfer as a Radically Novel Mechanism for Ecological Adaptations

LATTECO will investigate whether novel genes have been acquired by lateral gene transfer (LGT) in the ostracod Darwinula stevensoni. We chose this micro-crustacean as model species because it is of old age (several million years), is a putative ancient asexual and has a wide ecological tolerance. We will estimate the frequency of possible LGT events in these ostracods, what the functions of these foreign genes are and who the potential donors could have been.

We will conduct metagenomics studies on D. stevensoni, because bacteria could have potentially have acted as donors for LGT. We will also culture ostracods to test for any possible ecological effects of bacteria which they might host. We will obtain large scale transcriptome (RNA) data from D. stevensoni and identify candidate genes for LGT within these transcriptomes, using automated bioinformatic pipelines. We will localize any possible foreign genes in an existing genomic cosmid library of D. stevensoni and sequence those among their genomic DNA background (thus eliminating contaminations). We will apply bioinformatics analyses on the obtained sequence data to confirm candidate cases of LGT and to predict the putative functions of these foreign genes.

Related media(s)
Darwinula stevensoni, model organism.
Internal member(s)
Other member(s)
Etienne G.J. Danchin - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, UMR
Funding
BELSPO - BRAIN
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