We have sequenced and annotated the genome of the filamentous ascomycete Ashbya gossypii. With a size of only 9.2 megabases, encoding 4718 protein-coding genes, it is the smallest genome of a free-living eukaryote yet characterized. More than 90% of A. gossypii genes show both homology and a particular pattern of synteny with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Analysis of this pattern revealed 300 inversions and translocations that have occurred since divergence of these two species. It also provided compelling evidence that the evolution of S. cerevisiae included a whole genome duplication or fusion of two related species and showed, through inferred ancient gene orders, which of the duplicated genes lost one copy and which retained both copies.
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