Probing plant evolution by GC content

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Science  23 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6220, pp. 385-386
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6220.385-f

Scientists use GC content (that is, the percentage of guanine or cytosine residues in a genome) as a proxy to measure many elements relating to gene evolution. Within the major group of flowering plants called monocots, which includes many agriculturally important species, the GC content of the genomes of grasses decreases from the 5' to 3' end of the gene. In order to better understand how the distribution of GC content evolved in monocots, Clément et al. examined orthologous genes across 10 monocot species. They found that the specific pattern of GC distribution seen in grasses is in fact not grassspecific—it is ancestral to the monocots.

Genome Biol. Evol. 10.1093/gbe/evu278 (2014).

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