Lateral gene transfer between prokaryotes and eukaryotes

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Abstract

Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is an all-encompassing term for the movement of DNA between diverse organisms. LGT is synonymous with horizontal gene transfer, and the terms are used interchangeably throughout the scientific literature. While LGT has been recognized within the bacteria domain of life for decades, inter-domain LGTs are being increasingly described. LGTs between bacteria and complex multicellular organisms are of interest because they challenge the long-held dogma that such transfers could only occur in closely-related, single-celled organisms. Scientists will continue to challenge our understanding of LGT as we sequence more, diverse organisms, as we sequence more endosymbiont-colonized arthropods, and as we continue to appreciate LGT events, both young and old.

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