Mechanisms of gene flow in archaea

Alexander Wagner, Rachel J. Whitaker, David J. Krause, Jan Hendrik Heilers, Marleen Van Wolferen, Chris Van Der Does, Sonja Verena Albers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Archaea are diverse, ecologically important, single-celled microorganisms. They have unique functions and features, such as methanogenesis and the composition of their cell envelope, although many characteristics are shared with the other domains of life, either through ancestry or through promiscuous horizontal gene transfer. The exchange of genetic material is a major driving force for genome evolution across the tree of life and has a role in archaeal speciation, adaptation and maintenance of diversity. In this Review, we discuss our current knowledge of archaeal mechanisms of DNA transfer and highlight the role of gene transfer in archaeal evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-501
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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