Evolutionary Dynamics of Recently Duplicated Genes: Selective Constraints on Diverging Paralogs in the Drosophila pseudoobscura Genome
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- Meisel, R.P. J Mol Evol (2009) 69: 81. doi:10.1007/s00239-009-9254-1
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Duplicated genes produce genetic variation that can influence the evolution of genomes and phenotypes. In most cases, for a duplicated gene to contribute to evolutionary novelty it must survive the early stages of divergence from its paralog without becoming a pseudogene. I examined the evolutionary dynamics of recently duplicated genes in the Drosophila pseudoobscura genome to understand the factors affecting these early stages of evolution. Paralogs located in closer proximity have higher sequence identity. This suggests that gene conversion occurs more often between duplications in close proximity or that there is more genetic independence between distant paralogs. Partially duplicated genes have a higher likelihood of pseudogenization than completely duplicated genes, but no single factor significantly contributes to the selective constraints on a completely duplicated gene. However, DNA-based duplications and duplications within chromosome arms tend to produce longer duplication tracts than retroposed and inter-arm duplications, and longer duplication tracts are more likely to contain a completely duplicated gene. Therefore, the relative position of paralogs and the mechanism of duplication indirectly affect whether a duplicated gene is retained or pseudogenized.