Adaptive evolution after gene duplication

Trends Genet. 2002 Sep;18(9):433-4. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(02)02755-5.


One of the two ribonuclease genes in a leaf-eating monkey has adapted to a role in the digestion of bacterial RNA. Following duplication of the ancestral ribonuclease gene, adaptation occurred through a series of changes in the amino acid sequence of the protein it encodes. This example is a good illustration of how specialization of protein function after gene duplication can be as source of novel protein functions.

Publication types

  • News

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cercopithecidae / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Duplication*
  • Humans
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Ribonucleases / genetics
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Ribonucleases