PerspectiveGenetics

Evolution after genome duplication

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Science  26 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6498, pp. 1424-1425
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc1796

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Summary

Genome duplication generates an extra copy of nearly all genes carried by an organism, providing a potential substrate for evolution. Although many duplicate genes will be eliminated after a genome duplication, those that are retained may evolve distinct functions over time. This process can be studied by characterizing the shared and divergent functions of duplicate genes in present-day organisms whose ancestors experienced genome duplication in the past. However, such work requires examining the functional relationships between each copy of a duplicated gene and the other genes in the genome. This is inherently difficult for duplicate genes because of their redundancy. However, on page 1445 of this issue, Kuzmin et al. (1) show that systematic analysis of di- and trigenic genetic interactions in budding yeast can overcome this challenge. With this approach, they discover general constraints that influence the retention and divergence of duplicate genes.

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