The 2R hypothesis and the human genome sequence

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One theory formalised in 1970 proposes that the complexity of vertebrate genomes originated by means of genome duplication at the base of the vertebrate lineage. Since then, the theory has remained both popular and controversial. Here we review the theory, and present preliminary results from our analysis of duplications in the draft human genome sequence. We find evidence for extensive duplication of parts of the genome. We also question the validity of the 'parsimony test' that has been used in other analyses.