http://www.bio.net/hypermail/MOLECULAR-EVOLUTION/lost of genes in primate

Joe Felsenstein joe at evolution.genetics.washington.edu
Thu Feb 29 00:49:46 EST 1996


In article <495 at reservoir.win-uk.net>,
Shane McKee <shane at reservoir.win-uk.net> wrote:
>Jeffrey Mattox (jeff at cher.heurikon.com) writes:
...
>>This is the "C-value paradox."
>
>I don't see this as a paradox at all - it's just an interesting
>phenomenon. Any other thoughts? 

It used to be a paradox, before we knew about junk DNA, transposons, etc.
There was far more DNA in genomes than we could account for by genes.
That was the paradox.  There was also a population-genetic version of the
paradox too.  Calculations of the  mutational load showed that if all that
DNA was information-bearing, given reasonable per-base mutation rates,
we'd all be dead.

The discovery of all the different kinds of noncoding DNA resolved the
paradox.  Interestingly, the mutation-load argument is still relevant and
is a fairly powerful objection to most of our DNA being meaningful, in
the sense that it must be in that particular sequence.

-- 
Joe Felsenstein         joe at genetics.washington.edu     (IP No. 128.95.12.41)
 Dept. of Genetics, Univ. of Washington, Box 357360, Seattle, WA 98195-7360 USA



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