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Genetics. 2005 Sep;171(1):323-32. Epub 2005 Jul 4.

Tempos of gene locus deletions and duplications and their relationship to recombination rate during diploid and polyploid evolution in the Aegilops-Triticum alliance.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


The origin of tetraploid wheat and the divergence of diploid ancestors of wheat A and D genomes were estimated to have occurred 0.36 and 2.7 million years ago, respectively. These estimates and the evolutionary history of 3159 gene loci were used to estimate the rates with which gene loci have been deleted and duplicated during the evolution of wheat diploid ancestors and during the evolution of polyploid wheat. During diploid evolution, the deletion rate was 2.1 x 10(-3) locus(-1) MY(-1) for single-copy loci and 1.0 x 10(-2) locus(-1) MY(-1) for loci in paralogous sets. Loci were duplicated with a rate of 2.9 x 10(-3) locus(-1) MY(-1) during diploid evolution. During polyploid evolution, locus deletion and locus duplication rates were 1.8 x 10(-2) and 1.8 x 10(-3) locus(-1) MY(-1), respectively. Locus deletion and duplication rates correlated positively with the distance of the locus from the centromere and the recombination rate during diploid evolution. The functions of deleted and duplicated loci were inferred to gain insight into the surprisingly high rate of deletions of loci present apparently only once in a genome. The significance of these findings for genome evolution at the diploid and polyploid level is discussed.

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