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Thread: Diploid genes?

  1. #1 Diploid genes? 
    Forum Freshman
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    Jul 2005
    Hi, I am struggling with a phrase in a text book I am reading at a section discussing gene duplication (note this is not a question for amateurs). The phrase reads "the Genomes of many jawed vertebrates appear to have four diploid sets of many major genes." I have read this phrase several times, and for what ever reason it just isn't sinking in what it means. I mean I understand that the chromosomes of almost all living things are diploid in one way or another, but what does "four diploid sets of many major genes mean in reality? Does anyone care to expand on this?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    There is an observation called the 4:1 rule that can be seen when comparing the genomes of vertebrates with those of invertebrates. It is observed that some gene families (actually very few) have four times as many members in vertebrates than the same family does in invertebrates. Only certain gene families follow this rule, not all genes. It's a rather obscure rule really and not well-known. It's not even a rule as such since it hardly ever holds true.

    The idea is that the vertebrate genome arose by two successive rounds of whole genome duplication. The evidence is quite a bit shakier than what your book seems to imply and complex studies are required to tease out convincing evidence that this actually happened.

    Your book has worded it in a strange way I think.

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  4. #3  
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    Thanks that was really helpful!
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