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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2014 Feb;17:43-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2013.11.002. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

Gene duplication as a driver of plant morphogenetic evolution.

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Plant Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse 8, 35043 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address:


Most duplicated genes (paralogs) are quickly erased during evolution, and only some are retained. Yet, gene and genome duplications are connected to the evolution of genetic and, in turn, morphological complexity. Plants are especially prone to experience polyploidizations and to enhance their gene repertoire after such events. Genes encoding proteins involved in transcriptional regulation are of especial interest since they are correlated with the occurrence of genome duplication events and with the rise of plant morphological complexity. Here, I review what we know about paralog retention as a driver for morphogenetic evolution of plants. The main focus is on the evolution of plant genes controlling development (morphogenetic transcription factors).

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