A C-fern (Ceratopteris richardii) in a pot
Genome Spotlight: C-fern (Ceratopteris richardii)
Sequences for the model organism and two of its kin reveal how these plants got their oversized genomes.
Genome Spotlight: C-fern (Ceratopteris richardii)
Genome Spotlight: C-fern (Ceratopteris richardii)

Sequences for the model organism and two of its kin reveal how these plants got their oversized genomes.

Sequences for the model organism and two of its kin reveal how these plants got their oversized genomes.

horizontal gene transfer
Illustration of a DNA virus sneaking genetic material into a host’s nucleus
Infographic: Possible Mechanisms of Gene Transfer in Eukaryotes
Christie Wilcox | Jul 5, 2022
Genetic studies have made it clear that eukaryotic horizontal gene transfer can and does happen. Exactly how, though, remains speculative.
Cow image
Slideshow: Examples of Eukaryotic Horizontal Gene Transfer
Christie Wilcox | Jul 5, 2022
Horizontally transferred genes play significant roles in eukaryotic genomes
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The Scientist Speaks - Rising From the Dead: How Antibiotic Resistance Genes Travel Between Current and Past Bacteria
Nele Haelterman, PhD
Heather Kittredge and Sarah Evans discuss the environmental conditions that facilitate natural transformation in bacteria’s native habitat.  
Landscape illustration
Horizontal Gene Transfer Happens More Often Than Anyone Thought
Christie Wilcox | Jul 5, 2022
DNA passed to and from all kinds of organisms, even across kingdoms, has helped shape the tree of life, to a large and undisputed degree in microbes and also unexpectedly in multicellular fungi, plants, and animals.
a microscope image of a rotifer
Bacterial Enzyme Keeps Rotifers’ Transposable Elements in Check
Christie Wilcox | Mar 3, 2022
Jumping genes in bdelloid rotifers are tamped down by DNA methylation performed by an enzyme pilfered from bacteria roughly 60 million years ago, a study finds.
5 images related to stories highlighted in the article, including DNA strand, insect, and dog
Our Favorite Genetics Stories of 2021
Christie Wilcox | Dec 23, 2021
Studies The Scientist covered this year illustrate the expanding importance of genetic and genomic research in all aspects of life science, from ecology to medicine.
close up photograph of brown and yellow caterpillar on a strawberry
Genes Shared With Viruses Protect Caterpillars from Parasitic Wasps
Annie Melchor | Jul 30, 2021
A newly identified gene family named “parasitoid killing factor” is found in both insect-infecting viruses and their hosts, although researchers can’t yet tell where they originated.
Gene Exchange Among Gut Bacteria Is Linked to Industrialization
Catherine Offord | Mar 31, 2021
A study of human populations around the world detects differing rates of horizontal gene transfer in the microbiome depending on what kind of society those people live in.
whitefly horizontal gene transfer plant animal virus crop pest agriculture BtPMaT1 Bemisia tabaci
First Report of Horizontal Gene Transfer Between Plant and Animal
Emma Yasinski | Mar 25, 2021
Whiteflies overcome a toxin in plants they eat through the use of the plant’s own genetic protection, likely ferried from plant to insect millions of years ago by a virus.
plant organelle plastid horizontal genome transfer
Watch a Plastid Squirm from One Plant Cell to Another
The Scientist Staff | Jan 8, 2021
Entire organelles bearing DNA move between strains of tobacco that were grafted to one another.
Plant Cells Swap Organelles
Abby Olena | Jan 7, 2021
Their relocation explains horizontal genome transfer first described more than a decade ago.
green algae, phytoplankton, giant virus, genetics & genomics, endogenization, evolution, diversity, eukaryote
Giant Viruses Can Integrate into the Genomes of Their Hosts
Amanda Heidt | Nov 19, 2020
Rather than introducing small chunks of DNA as other viruses do, some giant viruses can contribute more than 1 million base pairs to a host’s genome, broadening the ways in which viruses may shape eukaryote evolution.
Image of the Day: Beetle Evolution
Emily Makowski | Nov 19, 2019
Plants, fungi, and bacteria likely contributed to insect diversity.
photo of green, tube-like Spirogloea muscicola
Genes from Bacteria Likely Aided Plants’ Move to Land
Shawna Williams | Nov 15, 2019
An analysis suggests that DNA cribbed from soil microbes enabled plants’ ancestors to colonize a terrestrial environment.
Horizontal Gene Transfer in Bdelloid Rotifers Questioned
Abby Olena | Jul 12, 2018
A re-analysis of sequencing data from a 2016 study of these tiny metazoans reveals possible contamination, rather than an exchange of DNA among species.
Fungus Repurposed a Bacterial Gene to Sense Gravity with Crystals
Viviane Callier | Apr 24, 2018
Rather than getting a gene for its original function, a horizontal gene transfer provides the raw material for evolutionary innovation.
The Unlikely Relationship Between a Brittle Star and a Sea Pansy
Aggie Mika | Jul 16, 2017
The presence of similar light-emitting enzymes in the distantly related organisms lends new insight into bioluminescence evolution.
This Parasitic Plant Steals More Than Nutrients From Its Hosts
David Smith | Feb 1, 2017
The plant Lophophytum pilfers mitochondrial genes from the species it parasitizes.
Black Widow Secrets in Phage Genome
Jef Akst | Oct 12, 2016
In the DNA of the WO phage, which infects arthropod-inhabiting Wolbachia, researchers find sequences related to a black widow spider’s toxin and other animal genes.