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Bioessays. 2011 Jun;33(6):469-77. doi: 10.1002/bies.201000094. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

Genome-wide approaches to the study of adaptive gene expression evolution: systematic studies of evolutionary adaptations involving gene expression will allow many fundamental questions in evolutionary biology to be addressed.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.


The role of gene expression in evolutionary adaptation has been a subject of debate for over 40 years. cis-regulation of transcription has been proposed to be the primary source of morphological novelty in evolution, though this is based on only a handful of examples. Recently the first genome-wide studies of gene expression adaptation have been published, giving us an initial global view of this process. Systematic studies such as these will allow a number of key questions currently facing the field of gene expression evolution to be addressed.

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