News FocusNinth International Plant Molecular Biology Congress, 25–30 October 2009, St. Louis, Missouri

A Question of Balance

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Science  20 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5956, pp. 1059
DOI: 10.1126/science.326.5956.1059

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Whole-genome duplications—in which every chromosome winds up with an extra copy—pave the way for new proteins, traits, and species, depending on the patterns of gene loss and change that follow. Researchers have proposed that genes that code for proteins that are part of complexes are most likely to survive purging. At the 9th International Plant Molecular Biology Congress, they discussed the latest experiments testing this idea, the so-called gene balance hypothesis. Increasing evidence from this and other meetings suggests that the hypothesis may be correct.