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J Hered. 2009 Sep-Oct;100(5):618-23. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esp056. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Intron-dominated genomes of early ancestors of eukaryotes.

Author information

1
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA. koonin@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Abstract

Evolutionary reconstructions using maximum likelihood methods point to unexpectedly high densities of introns in protein-coding genes of ancestral eukaryotic forms including the last common ancestor of all extant eukaryotes. Combined with the evidence of the origin of spliceosomal introns from invading Group II self-splicing introns, these results suggest that early ancestral eukaryotic genomes consisted of up to 80% sequences derived from Group II introns, a much greater contribution of introns than that seen in any extant genome. An organism with such an unusual genome architecture could survive only under conditions of a severe population bottleneck.

PMID:
19617525
PMCID:
PMC2877545
DOI:
10.1093/jhered/esp056
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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