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Researchers: Horizontal gene transfer allowed plants to move to land


They even call it “natural genetic engineering,” like they were Jim Shapiro or something: “The movement of plants from water to land was made possible when genes from soil bacteria were transferred to algae through a process called horizontal gene transfer. Unlike vertical gene transfer, such as the transfer of DNA from parent to child, horizontal gene transfer occurs between different species.”

This explanation makes explicit that this is not Darwinian evolution.

One writeup even alludes to the type of Darwinian tale that is being replaced:

The evolution of life on land is commonly depicted as a fish that grows rudimentary limbs and crawls onto a beach. But the true terrestrial pioneers were bacteria and fungi—and some of these microbes lent a helping hand to an ancestor of plants and some algae, researchers reported yesterday (November 14) in Cell. The finding provides support for the controversial idea that bacteria can transfer genes not just amongst themselves, but also to more complex species.

Shawna Williams, “Genes from Bacteria Likely Aided Plants’ Move to Land” at The Scientist

See also: Beetle evolution attributed in part to horizontal gene transfer (perhaps)


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