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Combinatorial DNA rearrangement facilitates the origin of new genes in ciliates

Author(s): Chen, Xiao; Jung, Seolkyoung; Beh, Leslie Y; Eddy, Sean R; Landweber, Laura F

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Abstract: Programmed genome rearrangements in the unicellular eukaryote Oxytricha trifallax produce a transcriptionally active somatic nucleus from a copy of its germline nucleus during development. This process eliminates noncoding sequences that interrupt coding regions in the germline genome, and joins over 225,000 remaining DNA segments, some of which require inversion or complex permutation to build functional genes. This dynamic genomic organization permits some single DNA segments in the germlineto contributeto multiple,distinctsomaticgenesvia alternativeprocessing.Like alternativemRNA splicing,the combinatorial assembly of DNA segments contributes to genetic variation and facilitates the evolution of new genes. In this study, we use comparative genomic analysis to demonstrate that the emergence of alternative DNA splicing is associated with the origin of new genes. Short duplications give rise to alternative gene segments that are spliced to the shared gene segments. Alternative gene segments evolve faster than shared, constitutive segments. Genes with shared segments frequently have different expression profiles, permitting functional divergence. This study reports alternative DNA splicing as a mechanism of new gene origination, illustrating how the process of programmed genome rearrangement gives rise to evolutionary innovation.
Electronic Publication Date: 2-Sep-2015
Citation: Chen, Xiao, Jung, Seolkyoung, Beh, Leslie Y, Eddy, Sean R, Landweber, Laura F. (Combinatorial DNA rearrangement facilitates the origin of new genes in ciliates. Genome Biology and Evolution, evv172 - evv172. doi:10.1093/gbe/evv172
DOI: doi:10.1093/gbe/evv172
EISSN: 1759-6653
Pages: 2859-2870
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Genome Biology and Evolution
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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