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J Mol Evol. 2003 Jan;56(1):28-37.

Patterns of gene duplication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, 1101 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


In this paper we present a new method for detecting block duplications in a genome. It is more stringent than previous ones in that it requires a more rigorous definition of paralogous genes and that it requires the paralogous proteins on the two blocks to be contiguous. In addition, it provides three criterion choices: (1) the same composition (i.e., having the same paralogues in the two windows), (2) the same composition and gene order, and (3) the same composition, gene order, and gene orientation. The method is completely automated, requiring no visual inspection as in previous methods. We applied it to analyze the complete genomes of S. cerevisiae and C. elegans. In yeast we detected fewer duplicated blocks than previously reported. In C. elegans, however, we detected more block duplications than previously reported, indicating that although our method has a more stringent definition of block duplication than previous ones, it may be more sensitive in detection because it considers every possible window rather than only fixed nonoverlapping windows. Our results show that block duplication is a common phenomenon in both organisms. The patterns of block duplication in the two species are, however, markedly different. The yeast shows much more extensive block duplication than the nematode, with some chromosomes having more than 40% of the duplications derived from block duplications. Moreover, in the yeast the majority of block duplications occurred between chromosomes, while in the nematode most block duplications occurred within chromosomes.

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