SFI Seminar: Natural Evolution of Duplicated DNA — An Evolutionary Stick-Breaking Process

Peter F. Arndt

SFI News:

SFI Seminar Wednesday, March 12, 2014 • 12:15 p.m. • Collins Conference Room • 1399 Hyde Park Road

Peter F. Arndt, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, presents “Natural Evolution of Duplicated DNA — An Evolutionary Stick-Breaking Process.”

Abstract: Recently, an enrichment of identical matching sequences has been found in many eukaryotic genomes. Their length distribution exhibits a power law tail raising the question of what evolutionary mechanism or functional constraints would be able to shape this distribution. Here we introduce a simple and evolutionarily neutral model, which involves only point mutations and segmental duplications, and produces the same statistical features as observed for genomic data.

Further, we extend a mathematical model for random stick breaking to analytically show that the exponent of the power law tail is −3 and universal as it does not depend on the microscopic details of the model. Our model further allows us to easily measure the total length of duplicated genomic sequences relative to the amount of mutated nucleotides. Surprisingly, for the human genome, as well as for other genomes, this ratio is close to one, which underlines the importance of genomic duplications for genome evolution.

Note: We are unable to accommodate members of the public for SFI’s limited lunch service; you’re welcome to bring your own.

SFI Host: Sam Scarpino

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