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Genetica. 2003 Jul;118(2-3):279-94.

Population-genetic models of the fates of duplicate genes.

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Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


The ultimate fate of a duplicated gene is that it either silenced through inactivating mutations or both copies are maintained by selection. This later fate can occur via neofunctionalization wherein one copy acquires a new function or by subfunctionalization wherein the original function of the gene is partitioned across both copies. The relative probabilities of these three different fates involve often very subtle iterations between of population size, mutation rate, and selection. All three of these fates are critical to the expansion and diversification of gene families.

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