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Decreasing the effects of horizontal gene transfer on bacterial phylogeny: the Escherichia coli case study

By Cyril - Posted on 17 April 2014

TitleDecreasing the effects of horizontal gene transfer on bacterial phylogeny: the Escherichia coli case study
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsEscobar-Paramo P, Sabbagh A, Darlu P, Pradillon O, Vaury C, Denamur E, Lecointre G
AbstractPhylogenetic reconstructions of bacterial species from DNA sequences are hampered by the existence of horizontal gene transfer. One possible way to overcome the confounding influence of such movement of genes is to identify and remove sequences which are responsible for significant character incongruence when compared to a reference dataset free of horizontal transfer (e.g., multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, restriction fragment length polymorphism, or random amplified polymorphic DNA) using the incongruence length difference (ILD) test of Farris et al. {[}Cladistics 10 (1995) 315]. As obtaining this ''whole genome dataset'' prior to the reconstruction of a phylogeny is clearly troublesome, we have tested alternative approaches allowing the release from such reference dataset, designed for a species with modest level of horizontal gene transfer, i.e., Escherichia coli. Eleven different genes available or sequenced in this work were studied in a set of 30 E. coli reference (ECOR) strains. Either using ILD to test incongruence between each gene against the all remaining (in this case 10) genes in order to remove sequences responsible for significant incongruence, or using just a simultaneous analysis without removals, gave robust phylogenies with slight topological differences. The use of the ILD test remains a suitable method for estimating the level of horizontal gene transfer in bacterial species. Supertrees also had suitable properties to extract the phylogeny of strains, because the way they summarize taxonomic congruence clearly limits the impact of individual gene transfers on the global topology. Furthermore, this work allowed a significant improvement of the accuracy of the phylogeny within E. coli. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.