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Genomic and Population-Level Effects of Gene Conversion in Caenorhabditis Paralogs
Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2010; in revised form: 22 November 2010 / Accepted: 6 December 2010 / Published: 9 December 2010
Abstract: Interlocus gene conversion, the nonreciprocal exchange of genetic material between genes, is facilitated by high levels of sequence identity between DNA sequences and has the dual effect of homogenizing intergenic sequences while increasing intragenic variation. Gene conversion can have important consequences for the evolution of paralogs subsequent to gene duplication, as well as result in misinterpretations regarding their evolution. We review the current state of research on gene conversion in paralogs within Caenorhabditis elegans and its congeneric species, including the relative rates of gene conversion, the range of observable conversion tracts, the genomic variables that strongly influence the frequency of gene conversion and its contribution to concerted evolution of multigene families. Additionally, we discuss recent studies that examine the phenotypic and population-genetic effects of interlocus gene conversion between the sex-determination locus fog-2 and its paralog ftr-1 in natural and experimental populations of C. elegans. In light of the limitations of gene conversion detection methods that rely solely on the statistical distribution of identical nucleotides between paralogs, we suggest that analyses of gene conversion in C. elegans take advantage of mutation accumulation experiments and sequencing projects of related Caenorhabditis species.
Keywords: Caenorhabditis; conversion tract; ectopic gene conversion; ftr-1; fog-2; gene duplication; interlocus gene conversion; paralogs
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Katju, V.; Bergthorsson, U. Genomic and Population-Level Effects of Gene Conversion in Caenorhabditis Paralogs. Genes 2010, 1, 452-468.
Katju V, Bergthorsson U. Genomic and Population-Level Effects of Gene Conversion in Caenorhabditis Paralogs. Genes. 2010; 1(3):452-468.
Katju, Vaishali; Bergthorsson, Ulfar. 2010. "Genomic and Population-Level Effects of Gene Conversion in Caenorhabditis Paralogs." Genes 1, no. 3: 452-468.