Small is beautiful: Did gene-rich regions of mammal chromosomes evolve from microchromosomes? [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers Dr E Tsend-AyushDr FS Gruetzner

Brief description Most birds and reptile genomes feature many tiny microchromosomes. These are not junk, as previously thought, but contain most of the genes. Mammals lack microchromosomes, but contain gene-rich regions with similar attributes. We suggest that microchromosomes originated by genome duplication, and evolved into the gene-rich regions of mammalian chromosomes. We will test this hypothesis by comparing sequences and genes in microchromosomes of birds, reptiles and monotremes. This will clarify the origin and evolution of the ?microgenome?, establish its suitability as a model for vertebrate genome organisation, and demonstrate whether microchromosomes are the ancestors of the gene-rich regions of mammalian chromosomes.

Funding Amount $345,000

Funding Scheme Discovery Projects

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