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Clock gene evolution and functional divergence

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kim Last, Emeritus Professor Peter Olive


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In considering the impact of the earth's changing geophysical conditions during the history of life, it is surprising to learn that the earth's rotational period may have been as short as 4 h, as recently as 1900 million years ago (or 1.9 billion years ago). The implications of such figures for the origin and evolution of clocks are considerable, and the authors speculate on how this short rotational period might have influenced the development of the "protoclock" in early microorganisms, such as the Cyanobacteria, during the geological periods in which they arose and flourished. They then discuss the subsequent duplication of clock genes that took place around and after the Cambrian period, 543 million years ago, and its consequences. They compare the relative divergences of the canonical clock genes, which reveal the Per family to be the most rapidly evolving. In addition, the authors use a statistical test to predict which residues within the PER and CRY families may have undergone functional specialization.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tauber E, Last KS, Olive PJW, Kyriacou CP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Biological Rhythms

Year: 2004

Volume: 19

Issue: 5

Pages: 445-458

ISSN (print): 0748-7304

ISSN (electronic): 1552-4531

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/0748730404268775

PubMed id: 15534324


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