Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genetics. 2005 Dec;171(4):1455-61. Epub 2005 Jun 18.

Conserved functions of yeast genes support the duplication, degeneration and complementation model for gene duplication.

Author information

University of Texas Health Science Center, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Gene duplication is often cited as a potential mechanism for the evolution of new traits, but this hypothesis has not been thoroughly tested experimentally. A classical model of gene duplication states that after gene duplication one copy of the gene preserves the ancestral function, while the other copy is free to evolve a new function. In an alternative duplication, divergence, and complementation model, duplicated genes are preserved because each copy of the gene loses some, but not all, of its functions through degenerating mutations. This results in the degenerating mutations in one gene being complemented by the other and vice versa. These two models make very different predictions about the function of the preduplication orthologs in closely related species. These predictions have been tested here for several duplicated yeast genes that appeared to be the leading candidates to fit the classical model. Surprisingly, the results show that duplicated genes are maintained because each copy carries out a subset of the conserved functions that were already present in the preduplication gene. Therefore, the results are not consistent with the classical model, but instead fit the duplication, divergence, and complementation model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center