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Segmentally Variable Genes: A New Perspective on Adaptation

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dc.contributor.author Zheng, Yu en_US
dc.contributor.author Roberts, Richard J en_US
dc.contributor.author Kasif, Simon en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-11T00:40:41Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-11T00:40:41Z
dc.date.issued 2004-4-13 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Zheng, Yu, Richard J Roberts, Simon Kasif. "Segmentally Variable Genes:A New Perspective on Adaptation" PLoS Biology 2(4): 0452-0464. (2004) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1545-7885 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2144/3038
dc.description.abstract Genomic sequence variation is the hallmark of life and is key to understanding diversity and adaptation among the numerous microorganisms on earth. Analysis of the sequenced microbial genomes suggests that genes are evolving at many different rates. We have attempted to derive a new classification of genes into three broad categories: lineage-specific genes that evolve rapidly and appear unique to individual species or strains; highly conserved genes that frequently perform housekeeping functions; and partially variable genes that contain highly variable regions, at least 70 amino acids long, interspersed among well-conserved regions. The latter we term segmentally variable genes (SVGs), and we suggest that they are especially interesting targets for biochemical studies. Among these genes are ones necessary to deal with the environment, including genes involved in host–pathogen interactions, defense mechanisms, and intracellular responses to internal and environmental changes. For the most part, the detailed function of these variable regions remains unknown. We propose that they are likely to perform important binding functions responsible for protein–protein, protein–nucleic acid, or protein–small molecule interactions. Discerning their function and identifying their binding partners may offer biologists new insights into the basic mechanisms of adaptation, context-dependent evolution, and the interaction between microbes and their environment. Segmentally variable genes show a mosaic pattern of one or more rapidly evolving, variable regions. Discerning their function may provide new insights into the forces that shape genome diversity and adaptation en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation (998088, 0239435) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.title Segmentally Variable Genes: A New Perspective on Adaptation en_US
dc.type article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020081 en_US
dc.identifier.pubmedid 15094797 en_US
dc.identifier.pmcid 387263 en_US


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