Uncovering the co-evolutionary network among prokaryotic genes

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Motivation: Correlated events of gains and losses enable inference of co-evolution relations. The reconstruction of the co-evolutionary interactions network in prokaryotic species may elucidate functional associations among genes. Results: We developed a novel probabilistic methodology for the detection of co-evolutionary interactions between pairs of genes. Using this method we inferred the co-evolutionary network among 4593 Clusters of Orthologous Genes (COGs). The number of coevolutionary interactions substantially differed among COGs. Over 40% were found to co-evolve with at least one partner. We partitioned the network of co-evolutionary relations into clusters and uncovered multiple modular assemblies of genes with clearly defined functions. Finally, we measured the extent to which co-evolutionary relations coincide with other cellular relations such as genomic proximity, gene fusion propensity, co-expression, protein-protein interactions and metabolic connections. Our results show that coevolutionary relations only partially overlap with these other types of networks. Our results suggest that the inferred co-evolutionary network in prokaryotes is highly informative towards revealing functional relations among genes, often showing signals that cannot be extracted from other network types. © The Author(s) 2012. Published by Oxford University Press.




Cohen, O., Ashkenazy, H., Burstein, D., & Pupko, T. (2012). Uncovering the co-evolutionary network among prokaryotic genes. Bioinformatics, 28(18). https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/bts396

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