Field of Science

Gene duplication and molecular promiscuity

Head over to the Scientific American blog for a post that discusses a recent article suggesting a link between gene duplication and the promiscuity of enzymes involved in secondary metabolism in plants. Since gene duplication frees up one copy of the gene to "experiment", it can potentially accumulate mutations that confer the ability to bind and process more than one substrate. We should partly thank gene duplication for giving us many secondary metabolites which are used as drugs (both recreational and non-recreational), flavors and food products.

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