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FEBS Lett. 2000 Dec 22;487(1):113-21.

Genomic exploration of the hemiascomycetous yeasts: 19. Ascomycetes-specific genes.

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Unité de Génétique Moléculaire des Levures, URA 2171 CNRS and UFR 927 Université P. et M. Curie, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Comparisons of the 6213 predicted Saccharomyces cerevisiae open reading frame (ORF) products with sequences from organisms of other biological phyla differentiate genes commonly conserved in evolution from 'maverick' genes which have no homologue in phyla other than the Ascomycetes. We show that a majority of the 'maverick' genes have homologues among other yeast species and thus define a set of 1892 genes that, from sequence comparisons, appear 'Ascomycetes-specific'. We estimate, retrospectively, that the S. cerevisiae genome contains 5651 actual protein-coding genes, 50 of which were identified for the first time in this work, and that the present public databases contain 612 predicted ORFs that are not real genes. Interestingly, the sequences of the 'Ascomycetes-specific' genes tend to diverge more rapidly in evolution than that of other genes. Half of the 'Ascomycetes-specific' genes are functionally characterized in S. cerevisiae, and a few functional categories are over-represented in them.

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