Gene duplication, a process whereby a region of DNA containing a gene is duplicated as a result of cell division errors, plays a major role in eukaryotic evolution. Over time, mutations in duplicate genes induce a novel evolutionary paths potentially leading to functionalization, an important source of diversification in complex organisms.
The researchers investigated two mechanisms believed to play a role in such functionalization: divergence of gene expression and of protein function. A set of 492 gene pairs associated with morphological diversification in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana were examined and classified according to their level of morphological diversification.
Results indicated that in gene pairs with high and low morphological diversification, divergence rates are significantly higher than in pairs with no diversification. Analysis also suggested that whereas protein function plays a major role in such diversification, gene expression plays a minor one. At the genome level, instances of either mechanism leading to diversification were found to be extremely rare, indicating that only a few duplicate genes are crucial to morphological evolution.
While making up as much as one fifth of all genes in the eukaryotic cell, duplicate genes have eluded functional analysis due to their redundancy. The success of the current research demonstrates a novel approach, promising fundamental advances in our understanding of genetic function.For more information, please contact
Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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