Fares MA, Keane OM, Toft C, Carretero-Paulet L, Jones GW
Researchers have long been enthralled with the idea that gene duplication can generate novel functions, crediting this process with great evolutionary importance. Empirical data shows that whole-genome duplications (WGDs) are more likely to be retained than small-scale duplications (SSDs), though their relative contribution to the functional fate of duplicates remains unexplored. Using the map of genetic interactions and the re-sequencing of 27 Saccharomyces cerevisiae genomes evolving for 2,200 generations we show that SSD-duplicates lead to neo-functionalization while WGD-duplicates partition ancestral functions. This conclusion is supported by: (a) SSD-duplicates establish more genetic interactions than singletons and WGD-duplicates; (b) SSD-duplicates copies share more interaction-partners than WGD-duplicates copies; (c) WGD-duplicates interaction partners are more functionally related than SSD-duplicates partners; (d) SSD-duplicates gene copies are more functionally divergent from one another, while keeping more overlapping functions, and diverge in their sub-cellular locations more than WGD-duplicates copies; and (e) SSD-duplicates complement their functions to a greater extent than WGD-duplicates. We propose a novel model that uncovers the complexity of evolution after gene duplication.