Definition of horizontal gene transfer in English:

horizontal gene transfer


  • [mass noun] The acquisition by an organism of genetic information by transfer, for example via the agency of a virus, from an organism that is not its parent and is typically a member of a different species.

    • ‘Another source of variation in codon usage is horizontal gene transfer, as the transferred genes tend to have a codon usage different from that of the host organism.’
    • ‘For genes that are present in only a few species, it is a priori more difficult to discriminate between horizontal gene transfer to multiple species and extensive loss of the gene in many lineages.’
    • ‘The past decade has produced an increasing number of reports on horizontal gene transfer between prokaryotic organisms.’
    • ‘Due to recombination and horizontal gene transfer, multiple sources may contribute to a single gene.’
    • ‘High rates of gene acquisition and loss and horizontal gene transfer make the discrimination between orthologs and paralogs extremely difficult in this data set.’