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|Several independent lines of evidence suggest that the modern genetic system was preceded by the ‘RNA world’ in which RNA genes encoded RNA catalysts. Current gaps in our conceptual framework of early genetic systems make it difficult to imagine how a stable RNA genome may have functioned and how the transition to a DNA genome could have taken place. Here we use the single-celled ciliate, Oxytricha, as an analog to some of the genetic and genomic traits that may have been present in organisms before and during the establishment of a DNA genome. Oxytricha and its close relatives have a unique genome architecture involving two differentiated nuclei, one of which encodes the genome on small, linear nanochromosomes. While its unique genomic characteristics are relatively modern, some physiological processes related to the genomes and nuclei of Oxytricha may exemplify primitive states of the developing genetic system.
|Electronic Publication Date:
|Goldman, Aaron David, Landweber, Laura F. (2012). Oxytricha as a modern analog of ancient genome evolution. Trends in Genetics, 28 (8), 382 - 388. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2012.03.010
|382 - 388
|Type of Material:
|Trends in Genetics
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