Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 846421, 10 pages
Review Article

Mechanisms of Gene Duplication and Translocation and Progress towards Understanding Their Relative Contributions to Animal Genome Evolution

The Scottish Oceans Institute, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, East Sands, Fife KY16 8LB, UK

Received 26 March 2012; Revised 30 May 2012; Accepted 27 June 2012

Academic Editor: Ben-Yang Liao

Copyright © 2012 Olivia Mendivil Ramos and David E. K. Ferrier. 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.


Duplication of genetic material is clearly a major route to genetic change, with consequences for both evolution and disease. A variety of forms and mechanisms of duplication are recognised, operating across the scales of a few base pairs upto entire genomes. With the ever-increasing amounts of gene and genome sequence data that are becoming available, our understanding of the extent of duplication is greatly improving, both in terms of the scales of duplication events as well as their rates of occurrence. An accurate understanding of these processes is vital if we are to properly understand important events in evolution as well as mechanisms operating at the level of genome organisation. Here we will focus on duplication in animal genomes and how the duplicated sequences are distributed, with the aim of maintaining a focus on principles of evolution and organisation that are most directly applicable to the shaping of our own genome.