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Which came first, the chicken genome or the egg genome?
Date:10/8/2007

s the core duplicon has been part of novel fusion genes whose functions appear to be radically different from their antecedents, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

The results suggest that the high rate of disease caused by these duplications in the normal population estimated at 1/500 and 1/1000 events per birth may be offset by the emergence of newly minted human/great-ape specific genes embedded within the duplications. The next challenge will be determining the function of these novel genes," said Eichler.

To reach these insights, the researchers worked to systematically pinpoint the ancestral origin of each human segmental duplication and organized duplication blocks based on their shared evolutionary history.

Pevzner and his associate Haixu Tang (now professor at University of Indiana) applied their expertise in assembling genomes from millions of small fragments a problem that is not unlike the mosaic decomposition problem in analyzing duplications that the team faced.

Over the years, Pevzner has applied the 250-year old algorithmic idea first proposed by 18th century mathematician Leonhard Euler (of the fame of pi) to a variety of problems and demonstrated that it works equally well for a set of seemingly unrelated biological problems including DNA fragment assembly, reconstructing snake venoms, and now dissecting the mosaic structure of segmental duplications.

In the future, the researchers plan to continue their exploration of evolution.

We want to figure out how the human genome evolved. In the future, we will combine what we know about the evolution within genomes with comparative genomics in order to extend our view of evolution, said Pevzner.


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Contact: Daniel Kane
dbkane@ucsd.edu
858-534-3262
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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