Multigene Families: Evolution

Abstract

Groups of genes showing similarity with each other are referred to as a gene family, arising from wholesale or partial gene duplication. The clustering of functionally related members of a gene family reflects their common ancestry and subsequent duplication and divergence. It has been speculated that gene duplication is essential for the creation of major evolutionary novelty. Genome projects will help in understanding the importance of gene duplications underlying macroevolutionary events.

Keywords: paralogous genes; orthologous genes; pseudogenes; processed pseudogenes; concerted evolution

Figure 1.

Order and arrangement of the human globin genes. (a) α globin cluster, human chromosome 16; (b) β globin cluster, human chromosome 11. Coloured boxes represent functional genes, white boxes are pseudogenes.

close

Further Reading

Brookfield J (1992) Can genes be truly redundant? Current Biology 2: 553–554.

Li W‐H (1997) Molecular Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.

Li W‐H and Graur D (1991) Fundamentals of Molecular Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.

Nei M and Rooney AP (2005) Concerted and birth‐and‐death evolution of multigene families Annual Reviews of Genetics 39: 121–152.

Ohta T (1980) Evolution and Variation of Multigene Families. Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

Ohta T (1987) A model of evolution for accumulating genetic information. Journal of Theoretical Biology 124: 199–211.

Ohta T (1988) Further simulation studies on evolution by gene duplication. Evolution 42: 375–386.

Ohta T (1988) Multigene and supergene families. Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary Biology 5: 41–65.

Ohta T (1991) Multigene families and the evolution of complexity. Journal of Molecular Evolution 33: 34–41.

Ruddle FH, Bartles JL, Bentleys KL et al. (1994) Evolution of Hox genes. Annual Review of Genetics 28: 423–442.

Sidow A (1996) Gen(om)e duplications in the evolution of early vertebrates. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 6: 715–722.

Singer M and Berg P (1991) Genes and Genomes. Mill Valley, CA: University Science Press.

Tachida H and Kuboyama T (1988) Evolution of multigene families by gene duplication: a haploid model. Genetics 149: 2147–2158.

Walsh JB (1985) Interaction of selection and biased gene conversion in a multigene family. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 82: 153–157.

Walsh JB (1985) How many processed pseudogenes are accumulated in a gene family? Genetics 110: 345–364.

Walsh JB (1987) Sequence‐dependent gene conversion: can duplicated genes diverge fast enough to escape conversion? Genetics 117: 543–557.

Walsh JB (1995) How often do duplicated genes evolve new functions? Genetics 139: 421–428.

Yokoyama S (1997) Molecular genetic basis of adaptive selection: examples from color vision in vertebrates. Annual Review of Genetics 31: 315–336.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Walsh, J Bruce, and Stephan, Wolfgang(Apr 2008) Multigene Families: Evolution. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001702.pub2]