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Genome Res. 2003 Feb;13(2):137-44.

A recent polyploidy superimposed on older large-scale duplications in the Arabidopsis genome.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Smurfit Institute, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


The Arabidopsis genome contains numerous large duplicated chromosomal segments, but the different approaches used in previous analyses led to different interpretations regarding the number and timing of ancestral large-scale duplication events. Here, using more appropriate methodology and a more recent version of the genome sequence annotation, we investigate the scale and timing of segmental duplications in Arabidopsis. We used protein sequence similarity searches to detect duplicated blocks in the genome, used the level of synonymous substitution between duplicated genes to estimate the relative ages of the blocks containing them, and analyzed the degree of overlap between adjacent duplicated blocks. We conclude that the Arabidopsis lineage underwent at least two distinct episodes of duplication. One was a polyploidy that occurred much more recently than estimated previously, before the Arabidopsis/Brassica rapa split and probably during the early emergence of the crucifer family (24-40 Mya). An older set of duplicated blocks was formed after the monocot/dicot divergence, and the relatively low level of overlap among these blocks indicates that at least some of them are remnants of a larger duplication such as a polyploidy or aneuploidy.

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