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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2007 Apr;10(2):199-203. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

How many genes are there in plants (... and why are they there)?

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  • 1Department of Plant Systems Biology, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

Annotation of the first few complete plant genomes has revealed that plants have many genes. For Arabidopsis, over 26,500 gene loci have been predicted, whereas for rice, the number adds up to 41,000. Recent analysis of the poplar genome suggests more than 45,000 genes, and partial sequence data from Medicago and Lotus also suggest that these plants contain more than 40,000 genes. Nevertheless, estimations suggest that ancestral angiosperms had no more than 12,000-14,000 genes. One explanation for the large increase in gene number during angiosperm evolution is gene duplication. It has been shown previously that the retention of duplicates following small- and large-scale duplication events in plants is substantial. Taking into account the function of genes that have been duplicated, we are now beginning to understand why many plant genes might have been retained, and how their retention might be linked to the typical lifestyle of plants.

PMID:
17289424
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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