Genomic background predicts the fate of duplicated genes: Evidence from the yeast genome

Ze Zhang, H Kishino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Gene duplication with subsequent divergence plays a central role in the acquisition of genes with novel function and complexity during the course of evolution. With reduced functional constraints of through positive selection, these duplicated genes may experience accelerated evolution. Under the model of subfunctionalization, loss of subfunctions leads to complementary acceleration at sites with two copies, and the difference in average rate between the sequences may not be obvious. On the other hand, the classical model of neofunctionalization predicts that the evolutionary rate in one of the two duplicates is accelerated. However, the classical model does not tell which of the duplicates experiences the acceleration in evolutionary rate. Here, we present evidence from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome that a duplicate located in a genomic region with a low-recombination rate is likely to evolve faster than a duplicate in in area of high recombination. This observation is consistent with population genetics theory that predicts that purifying selection is less effective in genomic regions of low recombination (Hill-Robertson effect). Together with previous studies, our results Suggest the genomic background (e.g., local recombination rate) as a potential force to drive the divergence between nontandemly duplicated genes. This implies the importance of structure and complexity of genomes in the diversification of organisms via gene duplications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1995-1999
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


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