Evolution of Arabidopsis microRNA families through duplication events

Christopher Maher, Lincoln Stein, Doreen Ware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


Recently there has been a great interest in the identification of microRNAs and their targets as well as understanding the spatial and temporal regulation of microRNA genes. To understand how microRNA genes evolve, we looked at several rapidly evolving families in Arabidopsis thaliana, and found that they arose from a process of genome-wide duplication, tandem duplication, and segmental duplication followed by dispersal and diversification, similar to the processes that drive the evolution of protein gene families. Using multiple expression data sets to examine the transcription patterns of different members of the microRNA families, we find the sequence diversification of duplicated microRNA genes to be accompanied by a change in spatial and temporal expression patterns, suggesting that duplicated copies acquire new functionality as they evolve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-519
Number of pages10
JournalGenome research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


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