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Convergent evolution of gene circuits


Convergent evolution is a potent indicator of optimal design. We show here that convergent evolution occurs in genetic networks. Specifically, we show that multiple types of transcriptional regulation circuitry in Escherichia coli and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have evolved independently and not by duplication of one or a few ancestral circuits.

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Figure 1: Circuit duplication is rare in yeast and E. coli.


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G.C.C. is supported by the US Department of Energy's Computational Sciences Graduate Fellowship program, administered by the Krell Institute. A.W. would like to thank the US National Institutes of Health and the Santa Fe Institute for their support.

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Correspondence to Andreas Wagner.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Conant, G., Wagner, A. Convergent evolution of gene circuits. Nat Genet 34, 264–266 (2003).

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