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Publication : Drosophilavia gradual loss of fitness advantages.

First Author  Lu Guang-An Year  2018
Journal  Genome Res. Volume  28
Pages  1309-1318 PubMed ID  30049791
Abstract Text  Drosophila, which, like most new genes, are testis-specific. We ask how and why de novo genes die because gene death must be sufficiently frequent to balance the many new births. By knocking out each miRNA gene, we analyzed their contributions to the nine components of male fitness (sperm production, length, and competitiveness, among others). To our surprise, the knockout mutants often perform better than the wild type in some components, and slightly worse in others. When two of the younger miRNAs are assayed in long-term laboratory populations, their total fitness contributions are found to be essentially zero. These results collectively suggest that adaptive de novo genes die regularly, not due to the loss of functionality, but due to the canceling out of positive and negative fitness effects, which may be characterized as "quasi-neutrality."Since de novo genes often emerge adaptively and become lost later, they reveal ongoing period-specific adaptations, reminiscent of the "Red-Queen"metaphor for long-term evolution. Doi  10.1101/gr.233809.117
Issue  9 Month  09

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