Thirty-nine proteins encoded in a large gene cluster that is well-conserved in gene content and gene order across 18 sequenced prokaryotic genomes were extracted, aligned and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. In individual analyses of the alignments, only two probable examples of lateral gene transfer between archaea and eubacteria were detected, involving the genes for ribosomal protein Rpl23 and adenylate kinase. Amino acid sequences for 35 of the 39 proteins were concatenated to yield a data set of 9087 amino acid positions per genome. Many of these proteins, 33 of which are ribosomal proteins, are not highly conserved across distantly related organisms and thus contain many regions that are difficult to align. Phylogenetic analyses were performed with subsets of the concatenated data from which the most highly variable sites had been iteratively removed, using the number of different amino acids that occur at a given site as a criterion of variability. Glycine, which has a strong influence on protein structure, tended to be more frequent at the most conserved (least polymorphic) sites. With most subsets of the data, the proteins from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis tended to branch with their homologues from gram-positive bacteria. The results indicate that excluding only a few percentage of poorly alignable sites from phylogenetic analysis can have a severe impact upon the phylogeny inferred and that bootstrap support for branches can fluctuate substantially, depending upon which sites are excluded.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error