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Intron-Dominated Genomes of Early Ancestors of Eukaryotes

By Eugene V. Koonin

Abstract

Evolutionary reconstructions using maximum likelihood methods point to unexpectedly high densities of introns in protein-coding genes of ancestral eukaryotic forms including the last common ancestor of all extant eukaryotes. Combined with the evidence of the origin of spliceosomal introns from invading Group II self-splicing introns, these results suggest that early ancestral eukaryotic genomes consisted of up to 80% sequences derived from Group II introns, a much greater contribution of introns than that seen in any extant genome. An organism with such an unusual genome architecture could survive only under conditions of a severe population bottleneck

Topics: Genome Evolution Collection
Publisher: Oxford University Press
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2877545
Provided by: PubMed Central
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