New tricks with old genes: the genetic bases of novel cnidarian traits

Forêt, Sylvain, Knack, Brent, Houliston, Evelyn, Momose, Tsuyoshi, Manuel, Michael, Quéinnec, Eric, Hayward, David C., Ball, Eldon E., and Miller, David J. (2010) New tricks with old genes: the genetic bases of novel cnidarian traits. Trends in Genetics, 26 (4). pp. 154-158.

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Abstract

Recent thought on genome evolution has focused on the creation of new genes and changes in regulatory mechanisms while ignoring the role of selective gene loss in shaping genomes. Using data from two cnidarians, the jellyfish Clytia and the coral Acropora, we examined the relative significance of new ‘taxonomically restricted’ genes and selectively retained ancestral genes in enabling the evolution of novel traits. Consistent with its more complex life-cycle, the proportion of novel genes identified in Clytia was higher than that in the ‘polyp only’ cnidarians Nematostella and Hydra, but each of these cnidarians has retained a proportion of ancestral genes not present in the other two. The ubiquity and near-stochastic nature of gene loss can explain the discord between patterns of gene distribution and taxonomy.

Item ID: 16898
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1362-4555
Date Deposited: 15 May 2011 02:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060408 Genomics @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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