Research report 2017 - Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
Evolution of genes from random sequences
SummaryHow can new genes evolve? It was long thought that this happens only through duplication and recombination of existing genes. An experimental evolution approach now shows that a large fraction of randomly composed protein sequences can positively or negatively influence the growth of cells. These results indicate how new genes can also arise out of non-coding sequences of the genome. Concurrently, this opens a practically unlimited source of new bioactive molecules for pharmacological and biotechnological applications.