Causes and effects of nuclear genome reduction

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2005 Dec;15(6):601-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2005.09.003. Epub 2005 Sep 26.


Eukaryotic nuclear genomes are generally considered to be large and gene-sparse, but extreme reduction has taken place several times, resulting in small genomes with a high gene-density. This process involves losing genes, compacting those that remain, or often both. Recently sequenced nuclear genomes include several that have converged to similar gene-densities by many means: variation in numbers and lengths of genes, intergenic regions and introns all contribute, but not equally in any given genome. Genomes of microsporidia and nucleomorphs have taken compaction much further, and in these hyper-compacted genomes there is evidence that some basic processes such as gene expression might be affected by genome form. In these genomes, normally weak forces might become more significant drivers of genome evolution.

PMID:16188433 | DOI:10.1016/j.gde.2005.09.003