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Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Jun;23(6):1136-43. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

Reorganization of adjacent gene relationships in yeast genomes by whole-genome duplication and gene deletion.

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, USA.


In Saccharomyces, an ancient whole-genome duplication (WGD) and widespread duplicate gene deletion resulted in extensive reorganization of adjacent gene relationships. We have studied the evolution of adjacent gene pairs' identity, orientation, and spacing following whole-genome duplication and deletion (WGD-D) using comparative genomic analyses and simulations. Surveying adjacent gene organization across the Saccharomyces species complex, we find a genome-wide bias toward divergently and convergently transcribed gene pairs in all species but a reduction in this bias in the species that underwent WGD-D. Among neutral models of WGD-D, only single-gene deletion can produce the appropriate reduction in orientation bias and recapitulate the pattern of short, highly dispersed deletions we observe in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To characterize the dynamics of WGD-D, we trace the conservation and creation of adjacent gene pairs along the S. cerevisiae lineage. We find that newly created adjacencies have a tandem orientation bias, while adjacencies conserved from prior to WGD-D have the same divergent-convergent bias as found in the species that diverged before WGD. We also find that adjacent gene pairs produced by WGD-D gained greater intergenic spacing but that this is reduced in the older adjacencies. Given this, and the preponderance of short deleted blocks, we argue that the deletion phase of WGD-D occurred primarily by small inactivating mutations followed by numerous small deletions. Newly created adjacent gene pairs also have an initial increase in mean log2 expression ratios and maximal expression levels, suggesting that increased intergenic spacing caused a genome-wide reduction in transcriptional interference.

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