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Horizontal gene transfer from bacteria and fungi as a driving force in the evolution of plant parasitism in nematodes

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Phylogenetic studies have shown that parasitism of plants by nematodes has arisen independently on at least three separate occasions. We argue that horizontal gene transfer has played a critical role in the evolution of plant parasitism on each occasion. In addition, we discuss evidence that suggests this process has driven the evolution of other life strategies within the Nematoda and that it may be considerably more common within the Phylum than commonly thought. We review recent literature that shows horizontal gene transfer to nematodes has occurred from both bacteria and fungi.

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