The shape of human gene family phylogenies

Cotton, J.A. and Page, R.D.M. (2006) The shape of human gene family phylogenies. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 6(8), p. 66. (doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-6-66) (PMID:16939643) (PMCID:PMC1618862)

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Background: The shape of phylogenetic trees has been used to make inferences about the evolutionary process by comparing the shapes of actual phylogenies with those expected under simple models of the speciation process. Previous studies have focused on speciation events, but gene duplication is another lineage splitting event, analogous to speciation, and gene loss or deletion is analogous to extinction. Measures of the shape of gene family phylogenies can thus be used to investigate the processes of gene duplication and loss. We make the first systematic attempt to use tree shape to study gene duplication using human gene phylogenies. Results: We find that gene duplication has produced gene family trees significantly less balanced than expected from a simple model of the process, and less balanced than species phylogenies: the opposite to what might be expected under the 2R hypothesis. Conclusion: While other explanations are plausible, we suggest that the greater imbalance of gene family trees than species trees is due to the prevalence of tandem duplications over regional duplications during the evolution of the human genome.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Page, Professor Roderic and Cotton, Professor James
Authors: Cotton, J.A., and Page, R.D.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:BMC Evolutionary Biology
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):1471-2148
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Cotton and Page : licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
First Published:First published in BMC Evolutionary Biology 6(8):66
Publisher Policy:This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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