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Trends Genet. 2007 Apr;23(4):162-6. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

External factors accelerate expression divergence between duplicate genes.

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  • 1Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, One University Station, A-4800, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712-0159, USA.


We examined the evolution of expression of duplicate genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, by analyzing 512 data sets of gene expression microarrays and 2022 recent duplicate gene pairs. Expression divergence between gene duplicates is significantly greater in response to environmental stress than to developmental processes. A slow rate of expression divergence during development might offer dosage-dependent selective advantage, whereas rapid expression divergence in response to external changes might accelerate adaptation.

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