Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 821645, 9 pages
Review Article

Novel Genes from Formation to Function

1Centro de Biologia Ambiental (CBA), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, 1749 Lisboa, Portugal
2Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
3Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
4Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, 1749 Lisboa, Portugal

Received 7 February 2012; Accepted 26 April 2012

Academic Editor: Frédéric Brunet

Copyright © 2012 Rita Ponce et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study of the evolution of novel genes generally focuses on the formation of new coding sequences. However, equally important in the evolution of novel functional genes are the formation of regulatory regions that allow the expression of the genes and the effects of the new genes in the organism as well. Herein, we discuss the current knowledge on the evolution of novel functional genes, and we examine in more detail the youngest genes discovered. We examine the existing data on a very recent and rapidly evolving cluster of duplicated genes, the Sdic gene cluster. This cluster of genes is an excellent model for the evolution of novel genes, as it is very recent and may still be in the process of evolving.