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Horizontal gene transfer in bdelloid rotifers is ancient, ongoing and more frequent in species from desiccating habitats

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Biology, November 2015
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (95th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
4 news outlets
blogs
4 blogs
twitter
11 tweeters
googleplus
1 Google+ user
video
1 video uploader

Citations

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50 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
116 Mendeley
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Title
Horizontal gene transfer in bdelloid rotifers is ancient, ongoing and more frequent in species from desiccating habitats
Published in
BMC Biology, November 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12915-015-0202-9
Pubmed ID
Authors

Isobel Eyres, Chiara Boschetti, Alastair Crisp, Thomas P. Smith, Diego Fontaneto, Alan Tunnacliffe, Timothy G. Barraclough

Abstract

Although prevalent in prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is rarer in multicellular eukaryotes. Bdelloid rotifers are microscopic animals that contain a higher proportion of horizontally transferred, non-metazoan genes in their genomes than typical of animals. It has been hypothesized that bdelloids incorporate foreign DNA when they repair their chromosomes following double-strand breaks caused by desiccation. HGT might thereby contribute to species divergence and adaptation, as in prokaryotes. If so, we expect that species should differ in their complement of foreign genes, rather than sharing the same set of foreign genes inherited from a common ancestor. Furthermore, there should be more foreign genes in species that desiccate more frequently. We tested these hypotheses by surveying HGT in four congeneric species of bdelloids from different habitats: two from permanent aquatic habitats and two from temporary aquatic habitats that desiccate regularly. Transcriptomes of all four species contain many genes with a closer match to non-metazoan genes than to metazoan genes. Whole genome sequencing of one species confirmed the presence of these foreign genes in the genome. Nearly half of foreign genes are shared between all four species and an outgroup from another family, but many hundreds are unique to particular species, which indicates that HGT is ongoing. Using a dated phylogeny, we estimate an average of 12.8 gains versus 2.0 losses of foreign genes per million years. Consistent with the desiccation hypothesis, the level of HGT is higher in the species that experience regular desiccation events than those that do not. However, HGT still contributed hundreds of foreign genes to the species from permanently aquatic habitats. Foreign genes were mainly enzymes with various annotated functions that include catabolism of complex polysaccharides and stress responses. We found evidence of differential loss of ancestral foreign genes previously associated with desiccation protection in the two non-desiccating species. Nearly half of foreign genes were acquired before the divergence of bdelloid families over 60 Mya. Nonetheless, HGT is ongoing in bdelloids and has contributed to putative functional differences among species. Variation among our study species is consistent with the hypothesis that desiccating habitats promote HGT.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 11 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 116 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 2 2%
Brazil 2 2%
United Kingdom 2 2%
Czechia 1 <1%
Belgium 1 <1%
Unknown 108 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 20 17%
Researcher 19 16%
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 16%
Student > Master 17 15%
Student > Postgraduate 7 6%
Other 25 22%
Unknown 10 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 58 50%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 25 22%
Environmental Science 11 9%
Unspecified 2 2%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 2%
Other 5 4%
Unknown 13 11%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 62. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 07 March 2021.
All research outputs
#417,267
of 17,608,563 outputs
Outputs from BMC Biology
#100
of 1,526 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#9,594
of 291,810 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Biology
#6
of 108 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,608,563 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,526 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 19.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 291,810 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 108 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.