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Copyright 2010 by the Genetics Society of America DOI: 10.1534/genetics.110.115766
 

Summary: Copyright 2010 by the Genetics Society of America
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.110.115766
The Evolutionary Dynamics of Operon Distributions in
Eukaryote Genomes
Asher D. Cutter*,,1
and Aneil F. Agrawal*
*Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and
Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution and Function,
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B2, Canada
Manuscript received February 20, 2010
Accepted for publication April 5, 2010
ABSTRACT
Genes in nematode and ascidian genomes frequently occur in operons--multiple genes sharing a
common promoter to generate a polycistronic primary transcript--and such genes comprise 1520% of the
coding genome for Caenorhabditis elegans and Ciona intestinalis. Recent work in nematodes has demonstrated
that the identity of genes within operons is highly conserved among species and that the unifying feature
of genes within operons is that they are expressed in germline tissue. However, it is generally unknown what
processes are responsible for generating the distribution of operon sizes across the genome, which are
composed of up to eight genes per operon. Here we investigate several models for operon evolution to
better understand their abundance, distribution of sizes, and evolutionary dynamics over time. We find that

  

Source: Agrawal, Aneil F. - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto
Cutter, Asher D. - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology