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Genome desertification in eutherians : can gene deserts explain the uneven distribution of genes in placental mammalian genomes?

Salzburger, Walter and Steinke, Dirk and Braasch, Ingo and Meyer, Axel. (2009) Genome desertification in eutherians : can gene deserts explain the uneven distribution of genes in placental mammalian genomes? Journal of molecular evolution, Vol. 69, H. 3. pp. 207-216.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5252019

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Abstract

The evolution of genome size as well as structure and organization of genomes belongs among the key questions of genome biology. Here we show, based on a comparative analysis of 30 genomes, that there is generally a tight correlation between the number of genes per chromosome and the length of the respective chromosome in eukaryotic genomes. The surprising exceptions to this pattern are placental mammalian genomes. We identify the number and, more importantly, the uneven distribution of gene deserts among chromosomes, i.e., long (<500 kb) stretches of DNA that do not encode for genes, as the main contributing factor for the observed anomaly of eutherian genomes. Gene-rich placental mammalian chromosomes have smaller proportions of gene deserts and vice versa. We show that the uneven distribution of gene deserts is a derived character state of eutherians. The functional and evolutionary significance of this particular feature of eutherian genomes remains to be explained.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Zoologie > Evolutionary Biology (Salzburger)
UniBasel Contributors:Salzburger, Walter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0022-2844
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:04

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