News of the WeekMICROBIAL GENOMES

Sequences Reveal Borrowed Genes

Science  23 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5547, pp. 1634-1635
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5547.1634b

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Summary

New data emerging from microbial genome sequences are so perplexing that they call into question what defines a species. Two bugs in particular, described at a recent meeting, seem to have nabbed enough genes from other organisms that they no longer resemble their supposedly closest relatives--raising fascinating questions about how and why they obtained these new traits.