Evolution of gene families

Gene. 2000 Dec 23;259(1-2):45-52. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(00)00428-5.


In eukaryote genomes, there are many kinds of gene families. Gene duplication and conversion are sources of the evolution of gene families, including those with uniform members and those with diverse functions. Population genetics theory on identity coefficients among gene members of a gene family shows that the balance between diversification by mutation, and homogenization by unequal crossing over and gene conversion, is important. Also, evolution of new functions is due to gene duplication followed by differentiation. Positive selection is necessary for the evolution of novel functions. However, many examples of current gene families suggest that both drift and selection are at work on their evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Duplication
  • Genetics, Population
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Multigene Family / genetics*