DOI: 10.1101/490524Dec 9, 2018Paper

Rapid functional divergence of grass duplicate genes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Xueyuan Jiang, Raquel Assis


Gene duplication has played an important role in the evolution and domestication of flowering plants. Yet little is known about how plant duplicate genes evolve and are retained over long timescales, particularly those arising from small-scale duplication (SSD) rather than whole-genome duplication (WGD) events. Here we address this question in the Poaceae (grass) family by analyzing gene expression data from nine tissues of Brachypodium distachyon, Oryza sativa japonica (rice), and Sorghum bicolor (sorghum). Consistent with theoretical predictions, expression profiles of most grass genes are conserved after SSD, suggesting that functional conservation is the primary outcome of SSD in grasses. However, we also uncover support for widespread functional divergence, much of which occurs asymmetrically via the process of neofunctionalization. Moreover, neofunctionalization preferentially targets younger (child) duplicate gene copies, is associated with RNA-mediated duplication, and occurs quickly after duplication. Further analysis reveals that functional divergence of SSD-derived genes is positively correlated with both sequence divergence and tissue specificity in all three grass species, and particularly with anther expression in...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Biological Evolution
Gene Duplication
Gene Expression
Rice (Dietary)
Sorghum bicolor
Brachypodium distachyon

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