Prokaryote pangenomes are dynamic entities

Elizabeth A Cummins, Rebecca J Hall, James O McInerney, Alan McNally

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Prokaryote pangenomes are influenced heavily by environmental factors and the opportunity for gene gain and loss events. As the field of pangenome analysis has expanded, so has the need to fully understand the complexity of how eco-evolutionary dynamics shape pangenomes. Here, we describe current models of pangenome evolution and discuss their suitability and accuracy. We suggest that pangenomes are dynamic entities under constant flux, highlighting the influence of two-way interactions between pangenome and environment. New classifications of core and accessory genes are also considered, underscoring the need for continuous evaluation of nomenclature in a fast-moving field. We conclude that future models of pangenome evolution should incorporate eco-evolutionary dynamics to fully encompass their dynamic, changeable nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Early online date31 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EAC is funded by the Wellcome Antimicrobial and Antimicrobial Resistance (AAMR) DTP ( 108876B15Z ). RJH is supported by a NERC grant ( NE/T01301X/1 ), awarded to AM.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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