Preferential retention of the slowly evolving gene in pairs of duplicates in angiosperm genomes

Lin Bo Wang, Hong Ma, Juan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene duplication provides raw material for functional innovation, but gene duplicability varies considerably. Previous studies have found widespread asymmetrical sequence evolution between paralogs. However, it remains unknown whether the rate of evolution among paralogs affects their propensity of being retained after another round of whole-genome duplication (WGD). In this study, we investigated gene groups that have experienced two successive WGDs to determine which of two older duplicates with different evolutionary rates was more likely to retain both younger duplicates. To uncouple the measurement of evolutionary rates from any assignment of duplicate or singleton status, we measured the evolutionary rates of singleton genes in out-lineages but classified these singleton genes according to whether they are retained or not in a crown group of species. We found that genes that retained younger duplicates in the crown group of genomes were more constrained prior to the younger duplication event than those that failed to leave duplicates. In addition, we also found that the retained clades have more genes in out-lineages. Subsequent analyses showed that genes in the retained clades were expressed more broadly and highly than genes in the singleton clades. We concluded that the set of repeatedly retained genes after two WGDs is biased toward slowly evolving genes in angiosperms, suggesting that the potential of genes for both functional conservation and divergence likely affects their propensity of being retained after WGD in angiosperms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-858
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Systematics and Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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