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Trends Ecol Evol. 2006 Jan;21(1):29-37. Epub 2005 Sep 21.

Uncovering evolutionary patterns of gene expression using microarrays.

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Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EH, UK.


The advent of microarray technology is providing new insights into fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. Here, we review the recent literature on the use of microarrays to study the evolution of genome-wide patterns of gene expression within and between species. Large levels of variation in gene expression patterns have been observed at the intra and interspecific level, and a substantial fraction of transcriptional variation has a genetic component that is contributed by changes in both cis-acting and trans-acting regulatory elements. We argue that there is solid evidence to show that the temporal dynamics of transcriptional variation is largely determined by natural selection, with the fraction of the transcriptome more closely related to sex and reproduction evolving more rapidly.

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