Whole-genome analysis of photosynthetic prokaryotes

Jason Raymond, Olga Zhaxybayeva, J. Peter Gogarten, Sveta Y. Gerdes, Robert E. Blankenship

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190 Scopus citations


The process of photosynthesis has had profound global-scale effects on Earth; however, its origin and evolution remain enigmatic. Here we report a wholegenome comparison of representatives from all five groups of photosynthetic prokaryotes and show that horizontal gene transfer has been pivotal in their evolution. Excluding a small number of orthologs that show congruent phylogenies, the genomes of these organisms represent mosaics of genes with very different evolutionary histories. We have also analyzed a subset of "photosynthesis-specific" genes that were elucidated through a differential genome comparison. Our results explain incoherencies in previous data-limited phylogenetic analyses of phototrophic bacteria and indicate that the core components of photosynthesis have been subject to lateral transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1616-1620
Number of pages5
Issue number5598
StatePublished - Nov 22 2002


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Cite this

Raymond, J., Zhaxybayeva, O., Gogarten, J. P., Gerdes, S. Y., & Blankenship, R. E. (2002). Whole-genome analysis of photosynthetic prokaryotes. Science, 298(5598), 1616-1620. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1075558