More than just orphans: are taxonomically-restricted genes important in evolution?

@article{Khalturin2009MoreTJ,
  title={More than just orphans: are taxonomically-restricted genes important in evolution?},
  author={Konstantin Khalturin and Georg Hemmrich and Sebastian Fraune and R. J. M. Augustin and Thomas C G Bosch},
  journal={Trends in genetics : TIG},
  year={2009},
  volume={25 9},
  pages={404-13}
}
Comparative genome analyses indicate that every taxonomic group so far studied contains 10-20% of genes that lack recognizable homologs in other species. Do such 'orphan' or 'taxonomically-restricted' genes comprise spurious, non-functional ORFs, or does their presence reflect important evolutionary processes? Recent studies in basal metazoans such as Nematostella, Acropora and Hydra have shed light on the function of these genes, and now indicate that they are involved in important species… CONTINUE READING
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