A segmental genomic duplication generates a functional intron.
- Author(s): Hellsten, Uffe
- Aspden, Julie
- RIO, Donald C.
- Rokhsar, Daniel
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1461
An intron is an extended genomic feature whose function requires multiple constrained positions-donor and acceptor splice sites, a branch point, a polypyrimidine tract and suitable splicing enhancers-that may be distributed over hundreds or thousands of nucleotides. New introns are therefore unlikely to emerge by incremental accumulation of functional sub-elements. Here we demonstrate that a functional intron can be created de novo in a single step by a segmental genomic duplication. This experiment recapitulates in vivo the birth of an intron that arose in the ancestral jawed vertebrate lineage nearly half-a-billion years ago.