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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Entropy and GC Content in the beta-esterase gene cluster of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup.

We perform spectral entropy and GC content analyses in the beta-esterase gene cluster, including the Est-6 gene and the psiEst-6 putative pseudogene, in seven species of the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup. psiEst-6 combines features of functional and nonfunctional genes. The spectral entropies show distinctly lower structural ordering for psiEst-6 than for Est-6 in all species studied. Our observations agree with previous results for D. melanogaster and provide additional support to our hypothesis that after the duplication event Est-6 retained the esterase-coding function and its role during copulation, while psiEst-6 lost that function but now operates in conjunction with Est-6 as an intergene. Entropy accumulation is not a completely random process for either gene. Structural entropy is nucleotide dependent. The relative normalized deviations for structural entropy are higher for G than for C nucleotides. The entropy values are similar for Est-6 and psiEst-6 in the case of A and T but are lower for Est-6 in the case of G and C. The GC content in synonymous positions is uniformly higher in Est-6 than in psiEst-6, which agrees with the reduced GC content generally observed in pseudogenes and nonfunctional sequences. The observed differences in entropy and GC content reflect an evolutionary shift associated with the process of pseudogenization and subsequent functional divergence of psiEst-6 and Est-6 after the duplication event.[1]


  1. Entropy and GC Content in the beta-esterase gene cluster of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup. Balakirev, E.S., Chechetkin, V.R., Lobzin, V.V., Ayala, F.J. Mol. Biol. Evol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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