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Vertebrate-Type Intron-Rich Genes in the Marine Annelid Platynereis dumerilii

Science  25 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5752, pp. 1325-1326
DOI: 10.1126/science.1119089

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Abstract

Previous genome comparisons have suggested that one important trend in vertebrate evolution has been a sharp rise in intron abundance. By using genomic data and expressed sequence tags from the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, we provide direct evidence that about two-thirds of human introns predate the bilaterian radiation but were lost from insect and nematode genomes to a large extent. A comparison of coding exon sequences confirms the ancestral nature of Platynereis and human genes. Thus, the urbilaterian ancestor had complex, intron-rich genes that have been retained in Platynereis and human.

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