Saturday, July 31, 2004

Gene duplications, paralogs etc, a phylogenetic phantom menace

Hurles, M., 2004. Gene Duplication: The Genomic Trade in Spare Parts. PLoS Biol 2(7): e206. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020206.

Here's a nice paper in PLOS about how gene duplications come about as a "major opportunities from which new genes evolve". Part of the research I do is based on paralogues of genes and how such phenomena can confound certain issues in IgE-binding capacity. The more I delve into this issue, I feel that gene duplication will be important in functional genomics. Gene duplications are really a fundamental toolkit in evolutionary genetics and the reductionists need to really take variation into consideration. Paralogs are a phylogeneticist's nightmare.

Orthologs are genes that divide via speciation so have counterparts in other species while paralogs are genes that arise through duplication.

See also this correspondence in Genome Biology - Orthologs and paralogs - we need to get it right. Jensen does a great job at teasing out the nitty gritty of the definitions, which when given enough thought can be really more profound than we'd normally imagine it to be.


Sivasothi said...

You needed to get the html code right, da dei. So I fixed it.

Adrian said...

Thanks. Did that on the fly on Saturday. I somehow knew you would fix it. Ngiak Ngiak