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Do archaea also undergo processes like conjugation, trasformation, etc.? If not, do they have their own horizontal gene transfer methods? Can bacteria conjugate with archaea?

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Wagner A, Whitaker RJ, Krause DJ, Heilers JH, van Wolferen M, van der Does C, Albers SV (2017) Mechanisms of gene flow in archaea. Nat Rev Microbiol 15: 492-501.

The exchange of genetic material is a major driving force for genome evolution across the tree of life and has a role in archaeal speciation, adaptation and maintenance of diversity.


Soucy SM, Huang J, Gogarten JP (2015) Horizontal gene transfer: building the web of life. Nat Rev Genet 16: 472-482.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the sharing of genetic material between organisms that are not in a parent-offspring relationship. HGT is a widely recognized mechanism for adaptation in bacteria and archaea.


Fuchsman CA, Collins RE, Rocap G, Brazelton WJ (2017) Effect of the environment on horizontal gene transfer between bacteria and archaea. PeerJ 29: e3865.

Potential hotspots of horizontal gene transfer between archaea and bacteria include hot springs, marine sediments, and oil wells.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think the OP was addressing the mechanics behind HGT of archaea, not just "is there such a thing". $\endgroup$ – LinuxBlanket Jan 30 '18 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ @LinuxBlanket: My answer has both. $\endgroup$ – user37894 Jan 30 '18 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ Your answer is "yes, there is HGT in archaea and it's important", not "archaea do HGT by conjugation and not by Y or Z". This information may be contained in one of the references, but not in your answer. $\endgroup$ – LinuxBlanket Jan 30 '18 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ @LinuxBlanket: The references, and references therein, are also parts of the answer. $\endgroup$ – user37894 Jan 31 '18 at 8:54

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