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To b(gl) or not to b(gl): how cryptic are "cryptic" genes?

Mahadevan, S (1998) To b(gl) or not to b(gl): how cryptic are "cryptic" genes? In: Journal of Biosciences, 23 (5). pp. 537-538.

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A striking feature that has emerged from the genome sequencing projects that have been completed so far is the extremely high coding percentage seen in all bacterial genomes. In the case of Escherichia coli, it is higher than 90% (in higher eukaryotes including humans, it can be as low as 2%). Despite running such a tight ship, many prokaryotic genomes carry genes that-it seems-are unable to function at all. Contrary to what one would expect on evolutionary grounds, these "cryptic genes" have nevertheless been retained as a part of the genetic repertoire of the organism (reviewed in Mukerji and Mahadevan 1997). Unlike the pseudogenes that are found in many eukaryotes, cryptic genes can be activated by a single mutational event, often the integration of an IS sequence within the promoter. This means that even though normally their promoters are silent, they have not been converted to pseudogenes by the accumulation of inactivating mutations over evolutionary time.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Biosciences
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2005
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2012 06:15
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/1640

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