Evolutionary context can clarify gene names: Teleosts as a case study

Scientists from the Laboratory of Neurodegeneration published an article in BioEssays. The paper describes developed an ex silico evolutionary‐based systematic synteny approach to define and name the duplicated genes in vertebrates.

In the past evolutionary biologists discovered, described, and named many plant and animal species. This process still goes on. In XXI century, a new challenge emerged. The sequencing of genomes of humans and other species brought about a need to name new genes discovered.

The naming of genes relies on various principles - historical precedent, their order in the human genome, and phenotypes of mutants in model animals (C. elegans, Drosophila, mouse). The organism complexity increases during evolution in a process that involved total-genome duplications. Compared to mammals, in bony fish such as zebrafish, there was one more round of genome duplication, which complicated the efforts of scientists to keep in order the names of genes related to different species. It seems that several hundred duplicated genes are misnamed in zebrafish. Zebrafish is a model for naming genes in all other bony fish. Thus, many genes misnamed in zebrafish became misnamed in other species also. These errors may complicate efforts to understand the gene function and to trace how genes evolved. To rectify this drawback, we developed ex-silico evolutionary-based systematic synteny approach to define and name the duplicated genes in vertebrates. It uses the simple software that we developed. We compared the order of genes in chromosomes of zebrafish to the slowly evolving genome of spotted gar. This species represents the unduplicated ancestral state of the bony fish genome. The evolutionary-based approach easily identifies the most misnamed genes in different bony fish species. As a result, a more organized view on the evolution of genes in bony fish could be developed.


Gasanov E, Jędrychowska J, Kuźnicki J, Korzh V.
Evolutionary context can clarify genenames: Teleosts as a case study. BioEssays, 2021; e2000258

Full article: Evolutionary context can clarify gene names: Teleosts as a case study

 

graphic with BioEssays logo and text: Evolutionary context can clarify gene names: Teleosts as a case study