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Amino acid transporter expansions associated with the evolution of obligate endosymbiosis in sap-feeding insects (Hemiptera: sternorrhyncha)[BMC Evolutionary Biology]

Keywords: Gene family evolution, Endosymbiosis, Gene duplication, Phylogenetics

by Frédéric Magné - published on , updated on

Mutualistic obligate endosymbioses shape the evolution of endosymbiont genomes, but their impact on host genomes remains unclear. Insects of the sub-order Sternorrhyncha (Hemiptera) depend on bacterial endosymbionts for essential amino acids present at low abundances in their phloem-based diet. This obligate dependency has been proposed to explain why multiple amino acid transporter genes are maintained in the genomes of the insect hosts. We implemented phylogenetic comparative methods to test whether amino acid transporters have proliferated in sternorrhynchan genomes at rates grater than expected by chance.

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