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Trends Genet. 2006 Oct;22(10):528-32. Epub 2006 Aug 24.

In plants, highly expressed genes are the least compact.

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Applied Bioinformatics, Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands.


In both the monocot rice and the dicot Arabidopsis, highly expressed genes have more and longer introns and a larger primary transcript than genes expressed at a low level: higher expressed genes tend to be less compact than lower expressed genes. In animal genomes, it is the other way round. Although the length differences in plant genes are much smaller than in animals, these findings indicate that plant genes are in this respect different from animal genes. Explanations for the relationship between gene configuration and gene expression in animals might be (or might have been) less important in plants. We speculate that selection, if any, on genome configuration has taken a different turn after the divergence of plants and animals.

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