Advertisement
Gene Tools
Gene Tools

Double Duplication

Two whole genome duplications boosted the complexity of the ancestor of all vertebrates, but also introduced potential for disease.

By | July 24, 2012

image: Double Duplication UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS

More than 500 million years ago, the DNA of a primitive chordate sea creature underwent two successive doublings, allowing for the evolution of the complex internal communication between cells that led to the evolution of vertebrates.

Now, researchers have sequenced the genome of the amphioxus, a modern marine invertebrate that did not undergo the genome duplications and is believed to be similar to the original vertebrate ancestor. By comparing the amphioxus genome to the human genome, the study, published today (July 24) in Open Biology, provides insights into how the duplications boosted cells' ability to integrate information, but also reveals how breakdowns in cellular communication cause diseases like cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders.

“Amazingly, what happened so long ago still affects the life and diseases of modern humans,” said co-author Carol MacKintosh, of the University of Dundee, in a press release. MacKintosh and colleagues are investigating the protein-coding gene duplicates that stem from the two genome doublings to understand their influence on modern humans. "We already have clues about important questions, such as why did only certain genes survive the DNA doublings, how did they shape vertebrate evolution, and what is their impact on human health and diseases?”

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
Advertisement
Life Technologies