Microbes and Gene Swapping -- How Common Is This? The article Sub-zero heroes: extremophiles call salty Antarctic lakes home reporting about: "The halophilic (Greek for “salt-loving”) extremophiles in Deep Lake belong to a group of microbes called haloarchaea. Due to much higher rates of gene-swapping – or promiscuity – than normally observed in the natural world, many species in Deep Lake are able to benefit from the genes of others." has prompted my question. I've read about gene swapping before, but I'm wondering how common is gene swapping? Does it just occur in specific types of microbes? Does it occur in plants and animals? Is this a mechanism that also affects DNA in plants and animals? I've been reading articles lately that relate changes in DNA to lifestyle, environment, etc., so I'm wondering if this is microbe driven or due to gene swapping? Thank you.