Describe how horizontal gene transfer can affect the population structure of bacteria and give example of how horizontal gene transfer can mislead the interpretation of a phylogenetic tree? Horizontal Gene Transfer: Effects on Population Structure and Misleading Phylogenetic Trees

Horizontal gene transfer: effects on population structure and misleading phylogenetic trees

Horizontal gene transfer is an exchange of genetic material between organisms that does not require reproduction. Because it can dramatically change the evolution trajectory of any organism, even bacteria, this process is a long-standing fascination. The population structure and frequency of common alleles can be affected by HGT. HGT can cause a reduction in the genetic diversity within a population, as demonstrated by a study (Ullah, et. al. 2020). HGT could also lead to misinterpretation of the phylogenetic tree. This is used for the analysis of the evolutionary history and evolution of an organism. HGT can cause changes in the tree structure as genes that are transferred to other members may not be related. It can result in misclassifications of individuals or incorrect interpretations of the tree (McLaughin and al., 2016). Cont….

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