Chromothripsis and the Macroevolution Theory

  • Franck Pellestor
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1769)


The recent discovery of a new class of massive chromosomal rearrangements, occurring during one unique cellular event and baptized “chromothripsis,” deeply modifies our perception on the genesis of complex genomic rearrangements, but also it raises the question of the potential driving role of chromothripsis in species evolution. The occurrence of chromothripsis appears to be in good agreement with macroevolution models proposed as a complement to phyletic gradualism. The emergence of this unexpected phenomenon may help to demonstrate the contribution of chromosome rearrangements to speciation process.

Key words

Chromothripsis Chromosome Macroevolution Speciation 



Work in the unit of Chromosomal Genetics is supported by the CHU research platform ChromoStem (


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit of Chromosomal Genetics, Department of Medical GeneticsArnaud de Villeneuve Hospital, Montpellier CHRUMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.INSERM U1183 Unit “Genome and Stem Cell Plasticity in Development and Ageing”Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapy, St Eloi HospitalMontpellierFrance

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