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Trends Genet. 2003 Jan;19(1):2-5.

Vertebrate evolution: doubling and shuffling with a full deck.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


The number and role of whole-genome duplications in vertebrate evolution has intrigued evolutionary biologists since Ohno first proposed genome duplication as the force driving the 'big leap' in vertebrate morphological innovation. Attempts to resolve these issues have been thwarted by small and noisy datasets, and by lack of computational accuracy and statistical rigor. Recently, Ken Wolfe and colleagues presented a genome-scale, statistically rigorous analysis of evidence based on the spatial organization of duplicated genes, as well as estimates of duplication times. Their results provide the strongest evidence to date of large-scale duplication throughout the vertebrate genome, consistent with at least one whole-genome duplication.

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