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Cell. 2005 Dec 29;123(7):1182-4.

Pushing back the expansion of introns in animal genomes.

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  • 1Center for Evolutionary Functional Genomics, Biodesign Institute, and School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA.


In a recent paper in Science, surveyed the position of introns in 30 genes of a marine annelid and showed that over 60% of the introns occupy positions identical to those in human homologs. In contrast, both human and marine annelid genes share only 30% of their introns with other invertebrates. These observations suggest that the common ancestor of most animal phyla had intron-rich genes and reinforce the notion that introns proliferated early in the evolutionary history of eukaryotes.

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