Scientists have speculated that the two whole genome duplications that occurred early in chordate evolution may have led to the diversity and complexity of chordates we see today. Why might whole genome duplications have allowed for increased complexity and diversity? The Impact of Whole Genome Duplications on Chordate Complexity and Diversity

Chordate Complexity, Diversity and the Impact of Whole Genome duplications

Whole genome duplication (WGD) is the process of an organism’s entire genome being replicated. This phenomenon is known to be present in plants, yeasts, and fish. It may have been twice observed during the early stages of chordate evolution (Zhang 2018). WGD may have enabled the diversity and complexity of today’s chordates by allowing for greater variety. In fact, WGD might have allowed for greater complexity through the creation of new gene regulatory network (Mayer and al. 2021). Two copies of the exact same gene can evolve different roles after WGD. This allows for new biological functions to emerge, which can lead to increased complexity. Affected gene expression may also be a way that WGD might have resulted in increased diversity (Liu, et al. 2016). Alternated regulatory elements can cause gene expression to change after WGD. This may lead to increased biological diversity and new forms. Cont….

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