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Trends Ecol Evol. 2009 Dec;24(12):649-58. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.06.011. Epub 2009 Aug 21.

Evolving gene expression: from G to E to GxE.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Analyses of gene expression data sets for multiple individuals and species promise to shed light on the mode of evolution of gene expression. However, complementary complexities challenge this goal. Characterization of the genetic variation underlying gene expression can easily be compromised by lack of environmental control. Conversely, the breadth of conclusions from studies of environmental effects has been limited by the use of single strains. Controlled studies have hinted at extensive genexenvironment interaction. Thus, both genetics and environment are key components in models of the evolution of gene expression. We review the literature on the evolution of gene expression in terms of genetics (G), environmental response (E) and GxE interactions to make this conceptual point.

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