Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Evolutionary genetics

Making the most of redundancy

Single genes, chromosomal regions and even entire genomes can undergo duplication. What good can come of these extra copies? Evolution seems to use several tricks to take advantage of the situation.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Possible outcomes of gene duplication.


  1. Wolfe, K. H. & Shields, D. C. Nature 387, 708–713 (1997).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Koszul, R., Caburet, S., Dujon, B. & Fischer, G. EMBO J. 23, 234–243 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Scannell, D. R., Byrne, K. P., Gordon, J. L., Wong, S. & Wolfe, K. H. Nature 440, 341–345 (2006).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Hittinger, C. T. & Carroll, S. B. Nature 449, 677–681 (2007).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Force, A. et al. Genetics 151, 1531–1545 (1999).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  6. Wapinski, I., Pfeffer, A., Friedman, N. & Regev, A. Nature 449, 54–61 (2007).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Johnston, M. Microbiol. Rev. 51, 458–476 (1987).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Hickman, M. A. & Rusche, L. N. PLoS Genet. 3, e126 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Lynch, M. The Origins of Genome Architecture (Sinauer, Sunderland, MA, 2007).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Carroll, S. B. Nature 409, 1102–1109 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Louis, E. Making the most of redundancy. Nature 449, 673–674 (2007).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing