Yeast evolution and comparative genomics

Annu Rev Microbiol. 2005;59:135-53. doi: 10.1146/annurev.micro.59.030804.121400.


Recent sequencing efforts and experiments have advanced our understanding of genome evolution in yeasts, particularly the Saccharomyces yeasts. The ancestral genome of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto complex has been subject to both whole-genome duplication, followed by massive sequence loss and divergence, and segmental duplication. In addition the subtelomeric regions are subject to further duplications and rearrangements via ectopic exchanges. Translocations and other gross chromosomal rearrangements that break down syntenic relationships occur; however, they do not appear to be a driving force of speciation. Analysis of single genomes has been fruitful for hypothesis generation such as the whole-genome duplication, but comparative genomics between close and more distant species has proven to be a powerful tool in testing these hypotheses as well as elucidating evolutionary processes acting on the genome. Future work on population genomics and experimental evolution will keep yeast at the forefront of studies in genome evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Duplication
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Genomics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Translocation, Genetic