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FEBS Lett. 2011 Feb 18;585(4):641-4. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.01.017. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

De novo origin of new genes with introns in Plasmodium vivax.

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Department of Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.


The origin of new genes is critical for organisms adapting to new niches. Here, we present evidence for a recent de novo origin of at least 13 protein-coding genes in the genome of Plasmodium vivax. Although recently de novo originated genes have often been suggested to be initially intronless, five of the genes identified in our analysis contain introns in their coding regions. Further investigations revealed that these introns likely evolved from previously intergenic regions together with the coding sequences. We discuss the potential mechanisms for intron formation in these genes and propose that intronization be considered in the formation of de novo originated genes.

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