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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1991 Dec;1(4):470-7.

The recent origins of introns.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405.


Accumulating evidence that introns are highly restricted in their phylogenetic distribution strongly supports the view that introns were inserted late in eukaryotic evolution into preformed genes and, hence, that exon-shuffling played no role in the assembly of primordial genes. Potential mechanisms of intron insertion and the possible evolution of nuclear introns and their splicing machinery from self-splicing group II introns are also discussed.

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