Supplementary Material for: Evolution of Patchily Distributed Proteins Shared between Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes: Dictyostelium as a Case Study
2011-03-22T00:00:00Z (GMT) by
Protein families are often patchily distributed in the tree of life; they are present in distantly related organisms, but absent in more closely related lineages. This could either be the result of lateral gene transfer between ancestors of organisms that encode them, or losses in the lineages that lack them. Here a novel approach is developed to study the evolution of patchily distributed proteins shared between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Proteins encoded in the genome of cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum and a restricted number of other lineages, including at least one prokaryote, were identified. Analyses of the phylogenetic distribution of 49 such patchily distributed protein families showed conflicts with organismal phylogenies; 25 are shared with the distantly related amoeboflagellate Naegleria (Excavata), whereas only two are present in the more closely related Entamoeba. Most protein families show unexpected topologies in phylogenetic analyses; eukaryotes are polyphyletic in 85% of the trees. These observations suggest that gene transfers have been an important mechanism for the distribution of patchily distributed proteins across all domains of life. Further studies of this exchangeable gene fraction are needed for a better understanding of the origin and evolution of eukaryotic genes and the diversification process of eukaryotes.