Xuhua Xia xxia1 at
Fri Sep 8 08:54:17 EST 1995

TZ68 (tz68 at wrote:
: Do pseudogenes arise from recent or ancient events?  Does one arise from a
: functional gene and can a functional gene arise from a pseudogene?  What
: value are pseudogenes?

: Just Curious

A pesudogene is like a character in a fiction, who is mirrored from
some persons or animals or objects in the real world, but is not
constrained by the laws governing the real world. So the character
can have three arms and nine heads or anything within the
imagination of the writer, because the good or evil it incurs does
not really harm those in the real world. In short, a pesudogene is
often free to take on any nucleotide anywhere anytime in a way that
is not allowed in a functional gene.

Just as a fictitious character can sometimes come alive, a
pseudogene can become a functional gene if its history as a
pseudogene is short so that its sequence is not much altered by
mutation, and if it is subsequently been inserted into a DNA region
that allows its transcription. Theoretically, this would allow a
gene to cross the valley in Wright's fitness landscape that can not
be crossed when the gene has always remained functional.
Pseudogenes have never been examined in this way.

Xuhua Xia                         | 
Museum of Natural Science         | Phone: (504) 388-2841
119 Foster Hall                   | Fax  : (504) 388-3075
Louisiana State University        | Email: xuhua at
Baton Rouge, LA 70803             |
USA                               |

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