Frogs have acquired DNA from snakes with the help of parasites

Horizontal DNA transfer, once thought to be a rare event, has occurred between snakes and frogs at least 54 times in the past 85 million years

Life 26 April 2022

Boophis tephraeomystax

Boophis tephraeomystax, a frog from Madagascar

Ryosuke Kakehashi

Many snakes make meals of frogs, but some appear to be transferring their DNA into the amphibians as well. A genetic analysis suggests that parasites shared between snakes and frogs may facilitate the movement of genetic material from one species to another.

The “horizontal” transfer of DNA between species was long considered a rare event that took place only between microbes, but there is growing evidence that the process has been going on all over the tree of life.

Genetic sequences called transposons – …

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