The Economist reports on work done by Peter Davies and published in PLoS ONE this week that shows that lateral gene transfer probably occurred in herring, smelt, and sea raven. Davies looked across genomes for an antifreeze protein and found that the three fish species share one lectin-like AFP in particular, but don't share a common ancestor. If the fish were bacteria or viruses, which are known to regularly switch DNA, this wouldn't be a big deal, the story says. "But animals swapping DNA directly with one another is previously unheard of."
A Big Day: The Economist Writes About Lateral Gene Transfer
Jul 11, 2008