The publication in Nature this week of four yeast genomic sequences seems to have confirmed the controversial idea, introduced in 1997, that whole genome duplication occurred in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

The very high-coverage sequences—with virtually no gaps—of four species of yeast reveal evidence of tandem gene duplication, segmental duplication (coduplication of tens to hundreds of genes), and whole genome duplication, said study coauthor Giles Fischer, who worked with Bernard Dujon and others at the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in France. "One of the major forces that has driven evolution is gene duplication followed by gene loss," Fischer said, "but we did not find only one single mechanism of gene duplication, we found three."

"During the last 2 or 3 years, about 10 novel yeast sequences have been completed, and now the comparison of these sequences has brought one conclusion which is very clear," said André Goffeau, a professor...

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