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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1996 Dec;6(6):715-22.

Gen(om)e duplications in the evolution of early vertebrates.

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Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.


Phylogenetic analyses and sequence surveys of developmental regulator gene families indicate that two large-scale gene duplications, most likely genome duplications, occurred in ancestors of vertebrates. Relaxed constraints allowed duplicated and thus redundant genes to diverge in a two stage mechanism. Neutral changes dominated at first but then positively selected regulatory changes evolved the novel and increasingly complex vertebrate developmental program.

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