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Logo of gseBioMed CentralBiomed Central Web Sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleGenetics, Selection, Evolution : GSEJournal Front Page
Genet Sel Evol. 2006; 38(6): 673–687.
Published online Nov 28, 2006. doi:  10.1186/1297-9686-38-6-673
PMCID: PMC2689270

Sox genes in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) with their implications for genome duplication and evolution

Abstract

The Sox gene family is found in a broad range of animal taxa and encodes important gene regulatory proteins involved in a variety of developmental processes. We have obtained clones representing the HMG boxes of twelve Sox genes from grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), one of the four major domestic carps in China. The cloned Sox genes belong to group B1, B2 and C. Our analyses show that whereas the human genome contains a single copy of Sox4, Sox11 and Sox14, each of these genes has two co-orthologs in grass carp, and the duplication of Sox4 and Sox11 occurred before the divergence of grass carp and zebrafish, which support the "fish-specific whole-genome duplication" theory. An estimation for the origin of grass carp based on the molecular clock using Sox1, Sox3 and Sox11 genes as markers indicates that grass carp (subfamily Leuciscinae) and zebrafish (subfamily Danioninae) diverged approximately 60 million years ago. The potential uses of Sox genes as markers in revealing the evolutionary history of grass carp are discussed.

Keywords: grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), Sox, genome duplication, co-ortholog, molecular clock

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