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Trends Genet. 2001 Apr;17(4):175-7.

Transcription unit conservation in the three domains of life: a perspective from Escherichia coli.

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Laboratory of Computational Biology, CIFN, UNAM, A.P. 565-A, Cuernavaca, 62100, Morelos, Mexico.


Here we address the question of the degree to which genes within experimentally characterized operons in one organism (Escherichia coli) are conserved in other genomes. We found that two genes adjacent within an operon are more likely both to have an ortholog in other organisms, regardless of relative position, than genes adjacent on the same strand but in two different transcription units. They are also more likely to occur next to, or fused to, one another in other genomes. Genes frequently conserved adjacent to each other, especially among evolutionarily distant species, must be part of the same transcription unit in most of them.

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