Ram Samudrala (ram at mbisgi.umd.edu) wrote:
: Paul Linehan (linehan at ceph.cephb.fr) wrote:
: >They can of course be ancient or recent. They normally arise from
: >functional genes and not vice-versa (at least to my knowledge).
: If a functional gene arose from a pseudogene, it would not be
: classified as a pseudogene.
It's not clear that this is true -- a pseudogene (or portions
of it) might be resurrected -- much in the way a wrecked car
can still provide useful parts. A pseudogene which has undergone
only a few mutational hits might be resurrected in part by
combining with another gene.
There is a related concept in microbiology of a "cryptic gene"
-- an inactive gene which can be reactivated by mutation.
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics / HHMI
robison at mito.harvard.edu