Surprises in fly genome

Comparative genome sequencing of 12 Drosophila species reveals new genes, gene structures, and regulators

Melissa Lee Phillips
Nov 6, 2007
Surprises in fly genome Comparative genome sequencing of 12 Drosophila species reveals new genes, gene structures, and regulatorsEven after decades of genetic study, the Drosophila melanogaster genome still contains undiscovered genes and other genetic elements, according to a study in this week's Nature. By comparing evolutionary signatures in the genome sequences of 12 Drosophila species, the authors found new protein-coding, RNA, and microRNA genes, as well as gene regulators and targets. They also discovered that several unusual translation mechanisms -- including skipped stop codons and reading-frame shifts -- are more common than previously thought. Accompanying research papers in Nature this week present an overview of Drosophila genome evolution, as well as new findings in Drosophila sex chromosomes and sex-biased gene expression. Finding new protein-coding genes in an organism as well-studied as D. melanogaster is "an interesting surprise," said Elliott Margulies of the National Human Genome Research Institute in Rockville,...

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