Prokaryote genome fluidity is dependent on effective population size
Springer Nature for International Society for Microbial Ecology
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Many prokaryote species are known to have fluid genomes, with different strains varying markedly in accessory gene content through the combined action of gene loss, gene gain via lateral transfer as well as gene duplication. However, the evolutionary forces determining genome fluidity are not yet well-understood. We here for the first time systematically analyse the degree to which this distinctive genomic feature differs between bacterial species. We find that genome fluidity is positively correlated with synonymous nucleotide diversity of the core genome, a measure of effective population size Ne. No effects of genome size, phylogeny or homologous recombination rate on genome fluidity were found. Our findings are consistent with a scenario where accessory gene content turnover is for a large part dictated by neutral evolution
This work was supported by NERC grant NE/L013177/1 to MV and the Fondazione Ing. Aldo Gini and the PhD school of Veterinary Science of the University of Padova (NAA).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Springer Nature via the DOI in this record.
Published online 31 March 2017