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Citation
Rogers, R.L., Bedford, T., Hartl, D.L. (2009). Formation and longevity of chimeric and duplicate genes in Drosophila melanogaster.  Genetics 181(1): 313--322.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0207085
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Historically, duplicate genes have been regarded as a major source of novel genetic material. However, recent work suggests that chimeric genes formed through the fusion of pieces of different genes may also contribute to the evolution of novel functions. To compare the contribution of chimeric and duplicate genes to genome evolution, we measured their prevalence and persistence within Drosophila melanogaster. We find that approximately 80.4 duplicates form per million years, but most are rapidly eliminated from the genome, leaving only 4.1% to be preserved by natural selection. Chimeras form at a comparatively modest rate of approximately 11.4 per million years but follow a similar pattern of decay, with ultimately only 1.4% of chimeras preserved. We propose two mechanisms of chimeric gene formation, which rely entirely on local, DNA-based mutations to explain the structure and placement of the youngest chimeric genes observed. One involves imprecise excision of an unpaired duplication during large-loop mismatch repair, while the other invokes a process akin to replication slippage to form a chimeric gene in a single event. Our results paint a dynamic picture of both chimeras and duplicate genes within the genome and suggest that chimeric genes contribute substantially to genomic novelty.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC2621179 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Genetics
    Title
    Genetics
    Publication Year
    1916-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0016-6731
    Data From Reference