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Epistasis has long been recognized as fundamentally important in understanding the structure, function, and evolutionary dynamics of biological systems. Gene duplication is a major mechanism of evolution for genetic novelties. Here, we demonstrate that genes evolved significantly more epistatic interactions after duplication. The connectivity of duplicate gene pairs in epistatic networks is positively correlated with the extent of their sequence divergence. Furthermore, duplicate gene pairs tend to epistatically interact with genes that occupy more functional spaces than do single-copy genes. These results show that gene duplication plays an important role in the evolution of epistasis.


Huifeng Jiang, Lin Xu, Zhenglong Gu. Growth of novel epistatic interactions by gene duplication. Genome biology and evolution. 2011;3:295-301

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PMID: 21402864

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