Using the examples of diverse interactions among prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the relationships between molecular and population mechanisms of evolution of symbiotic bacteria are addressed. Their circulation in host-environment systems activates microevolutionary factors that direct combinative or reductive genome evolution in facultative, ecologically obligatory, and genetically obligatory symbioses. It is shown on the example of symbiosis of rhizobia with legumes, that due to intensive systemic intra-genome rearrangements and horizontal gene transfer, two types of gene systems evolve in these bacteria: (1) controlling the pathogenesis-like processes of host recognition and penetration and (2) responsible for mutualistic interactions that are related to nitrogen fixation and its transfer to the host. The evolution of gene systems of type 1 is directed by individual (Darwinian, frequency-dependent) selection, which is responsible for gene-for-gene interactions between the partners. In the evolution of the type 2 systems, group (interdeme, kin) selection plays the key role, being responsible for the development of bacterial traits beneficial for the host. It is shown that evolution of mutualism can be described in terms of biological altruism, whose regularities are common for intraspecific and interspecific relationships. Macroevolutionary rearrangements of bacterial genomes result from the structural changes in their populations, wherein various selection modes are combined with stochastic processes (genetic drift, population waves) induced in the symbiotic systems.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 27, 2008
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