Data from: The Black Queen Hypothesis: evolution of dependencies through adaptive gene loss

Richard E. Lenski, Erik R. Zinser & James Jeffrey Morris
Reductive genomic evolution is common in endosymbiotic bacteria, where it is driven by genetic drift. Genome reduction is less common in free-living organisms, but it has occurred in the numerically dominant open-ocean bacterioplankton Prochlorococcus and Pelagibacter, and in these cases the reduction appears to be driven by natural selection rather than drift. The loss of certain genes in free-living organisms may leave them dependent on co-occurring microbes for the lost metabolic functions. We present the...
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