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Limited Lifespan of Fragile Regions in Mammalian Evolution

Summary: Limited Lifespan of Fragile Regions in
Mammalian Evolution
Max A. Alekseyev1
and Pavel A. Pevzner2
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, U.S.A.
University of California, San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Abstract. An important question in genome evolution is whether there
exist fragile regions (rearrangement hotspots) where chromosomal rear-
rangements are happening over and over again. Although nearly all re-
cent studies supported the existence of fragile regions in mammalian
genomes, the most comprehensive phylogenomic study of mammals (Ma
et al. (2006) Genome Research 16, 1557-1565) raised some doubts about
their existence. We demonstrate that fragile regions are subject to a
"birth and death" process, implying that fragility has limited evolution-
ary lifespan. This finding implies that fragile regions migrate to different
locations in different mammals, explaining why there exist only a few
chromosomal breakpoints shared between different lineages. The birth
and death of fragile regions phenomenon reinforces the hypothesis that


Source: Alekseyev, Max - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Carolina


Collections: Biotechnology; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences