The complex phylogenetic relationships of a 4mC/6mA DNA methyltransferase in prokaryotes
DNA methyltransferases are proteins that modify DNA via attachment of methyl groups to nucleobases and are ubiquitous across the bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic domains of life. Here, we investigated the complex evolutionary history of the large and consequential 4mC/6mA DNA methyltransferase protein family using phylogenetic reconstruction of amino acid sequences. We present a well-supported phylogeny of this family based on systematic sampling of taxa across superphyla of bacteria and archaea. We compared the phylogeny to a current representation of the species tree of life and found that 4mC/6mA has a strikingly complex evolutionary history that likely began sometime after the last universal common ancestor of life diverged into the bacterial and archaeal lineages and probably involved many horizontal gene transfers within and between domains. Despite the complexity of its evolutionary history, we inferred that only one significant shift in molecular evolutionary rate characterizes the diversification of this protein family.
Harris, AJ, and Aaron David Goldman. 2020. "The Complex Phylogenetic Relationships of a 4mC/6mA DNA Methyltransferase in Prokaryotes." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 149: 106837.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
4mC DNA Methylation, 6mA DNA Methylation, Evolutionary rate shift, Gene tree, Horizontal gene transfer, HVO_0794