Editor's Summary

6 September 2007

Double or quits


Gene duplication and loss is a key mechanism of evolutionary innovation, but little is known about the evolutionary principles that govern it. SYNERGY is a newly developed algorithm that uses sequence similarity and species phylogeny to map the evolutionary history of gene duplication and loss in a group of species. This strategy has been applied to the genomes of 17 Ascomycota fungi (including the popular model organisms S. cerevisiae and S. pombe) to determine the role of gene duplication and loss in the yeast lineage. One inference from the results is the finding that gene duplication may simplify a system, rather than make it more complex, by driving the specialization and modularization of pathways.

ArticleNatural history and evolutionary principles of gene duplication in fungi

Ilan Wapinski, Avi Pfeffer, Nir Friedman & Aviv Regev

doi:10.1038/nature06107