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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Sep 26;103(39):14402-5. Epub 2006 Sep 18.

Epistasis correlates to genomic complexity.

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  • 1Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-UPV, 46022 València, Spain. rafsaver@ibmcp.upv.es

Abstract

Whether systematic genetic interactions (epistasis) occur at the genomic scale remains a challenging topic in evolutionary biology. Epistasis should make a significant contribution to variation in complex traits and influence the evolution of genetic systems as sex, diploidy, dominance, or the contamination of genomes with deleterious mutations. We have collected data from widely different organisms and quantified epistasis in a common, per-generation scale. Simpler genomes, such as those of RNA viruses, display antagonistic epistasis (mutations have smaller effects together than expected); bacterial microorganisms do not apparently deviate from independent effects, whereas in multicellular eukaryotes, a transition toward synergistic epistasis occurs (mutations have larger effects together than expected). We propose that antagonistic epistasis might be a property of compact genomes with few nonpleiotropic biological functions, whereas in complex genomes, synergism might emerge from mutational robustness.

PMID:
16983079
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1599975
Free PMC Article

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