Quantifying the extent of lateral gene transfer required to Avert a 'genome of Eden'.

by Leo van Iersel, Charles Semple, Mike Steel
Bulletin of Mathematical Biology ()


The complex pattern of presence and absence of many genes across different species provides tantalising clues as to how genes evolved through the processes of gene genesis, gene loss, and lateral gene transfer (LGT). The extent of LGT, particularly in prokaryotes, and its implications for creating a 'network of life' rather than a 'tree of life' is controversial. In this paper, we formally model the problem of quantifying LGT, and provide exact mathematical bounds, and new computational results. In particular, we investigate the computational complexity of quantifying the extent of LGT under the simple models of gene genesis, loss, and transfer on which a recent heuristic analysis of biological data relied. Our approach takes advantage of a relationship between LGT optimization and graph-theoretical concepts such as tree width and network flow.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

26 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
by Academic Status
38% Ph.D. Student
19% Post Doc
12% Student (Bachelor)
by Country
12% Spain
8% Brazil
8% United States

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in