The Gene Tree of Paleo-Evolution

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The Gene Tree of Paleo-Evolution

Post by SamCogar on Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:55 am

There are three (3) known ways that new genetic information within an organism is created and/or passed on to the offspring(s). These are: (1) gene births or mutations where the gene either gains or loses information; (2) gene duplications where the gene make a 2nd or 3rd copy of itself; and (3) horizontal gene transfer (HGT) where a gene or genes from one organism are transferred directly to or absorbed by the DNA of another organism.

Whenever horizontal gene transfers occur, it is in effect, an instant evolutionary change within the receiving organism and/or their decendents. Like a HGT to a blind organism and “BINGO”, the next offspring will grow eyes, or whatever. Thus, HGT is surely the primary factor for the vast bio-diversity of animal and plant life on planet earth. Which one can readily see from the “pie-chart” in the following article, to wit:

The figure (pie chart) shows the evolution of gene families in ancient genomes across the Tree of Life. The sizes of the little pie charts scale with the number of evolutionary events in lineages, slices indicate event types: gene birth (red), duplication (blue), horizontal gene transfer (green), and loss (yellow). The Archean Expansion period (3.33 to 2.85 billion years ago) is highlighted in green

John Roach writes:The collective genome of all life on Earth today went through a rapid growth spurt between 3.3 billion and 2.8 billion years ago, ..........


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