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Genes 2011, 2(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/genes2010001

Gene Conversion in Angiosperm Genomes with an Emphasis on Genes Duplicated by Polyploidization

1
Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
Center for Genomics and Computational Biology, School of Life Sciences and School of Sciences, Hebei United University, Tangshan, Hebei 063009, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2010 / Revised: 6 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 10 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Conversion in Duplicated Genes)
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Abstract

Angiosperm genomes differ from those of mammals by extensive and recursive polyploidizations. The resulting gene duplication provides opportunities both for genetic innovation, and for concerted evolution. Though most genes may escape conversion by their homologs, concerted evolution of duplicated genes can last for millions of years or longer after their origin. Indeed, paralogous genes on two rice chromosomes duplicated an estimated 60–70 million years ago have experienced gene conversion in the past 400,000 years. Gene conversion preserves similarity of paralogous genes, but appears to accelerate their divergence from orthologous genes in other species. The mutagenic nature of recombination coupled with the buffering effect provided by gene redundancy, may facilitate the evolution of novel alleles that confer functional innovations while insulating biological fitness of affected plants. A mixed evolutionary model, characterized by a primary birth-and-death process and occasional homoeologous recombination and gene conversion, may best explain the evolution of multigene families.
Keywords: Non-allelic (ectopic) gene conversion; gene duplication; illegitimate recombination; angiosperm; grass Non-allelic (ectopic) gene conversion; gene duplication; illegitimate recombination; angiosperm; grass
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Wang, X.-Y.; Paterson, A.H. Gene Conversion in Angiosperm Genomes with an Emphasis on Genes Duplicated by Polyploidization. Genes 2011, 2, 1-20.

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