News of the WeekEvolutionary Biology

Doubled Genes May Explain Fish Diversity

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Science  21 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5380, pp. 1119-1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5380.1119

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Summary

MONT ROLLAND, QUEBEC-- The ray-finned fishes--which include everything from goldfish to sea horses to flounder--are the most diverse group of vertebrates, with some 25,000 species. Now a new study of the genome of the zebrafish suggests that this diversity stems from an ancient genome duplication. The entire fish genome doubled sometime before 200 million years ago, the study suggests, and the ray-finned fish then used the extra genes to evolve a wealth of different forms.