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Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Jun;23(6):1107-8. Epub 2006 Apr 12.

Average gene length is highly conserved in prokaryotes and eukaryotes and diverges only between the two kingdoms.


The average length of genes in a eukaryote is larger than in a prokaryote, implying that evolution of complexity is related to change of gene lengths. Here, we show that although the average lengths of genes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes are much different, the average lengths of genes are highly conserved within either of the two kingdoms. This suggests that natural selection has clearly set a strong limitation on gene elongation within the kingdom. Furthermore, the average gene size adds another distinct characteristic for the discrimination between the two kingdoms of organisms.

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