The ultimate fate of a duplicated gene is that it either silenced through inactivating mutations or both copies are maintained by selection. This later fate can occur via neofunctionalization wherein one copy acquires a new function or by subfunctionalization wherein the original function of the gene is partitioned across both copies. The relative probabilities of these three different fates involve often very subtle iterations between of population size, mutation rate, and selection. All three of these fates are critical to the expansion and diversification of gene families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-294
Number of pages16
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Evolution of new gene function
  • Gene families
  • Gene silencing
  • Neofunctionalization
  • Pseudogenes
  • Subfunctionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science


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