Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology



First Advisor

Esther Betran


Gene duplication occurs when a mutation leads to the copying of a region of DNA that contains a functional gene. After duplication, there will be two copies of the gene in the genome. Gene duplication can have deleterious effects but it can also be the source of novelty. It has been acknowledged for a long time that selection may be relaxed for one copy rendering that locus free to mutate and discover new functions. Another of the fates of duplication of special notice is the formation of a pseudogene. Pseudogenes have been defined as nonfunctional sequences of genomic DNA originally derived from functional genes. These are duplications that have undergone disabling mutations. Pseudogenes exhibit features as premature stop codons and frameshift mutations that prevent them from coding for a functional protein. A particular mechanism of duplication is retroposition. This occurs when a new copy is generated trough an mRNA intermediate. We call these new copies retrogenes. Because of the way they originated, retrogenes will have to recruit new regulatory regions to express. This work concentrates on the study of two Drosophila retrogenes: CG12628 and CG2222-like. CG12628 is a retrogene in Drosophila melanogaster that could be becoming a pseudogene because some alleles of this gene show disablements. CG2222-like is a functional retrogene in Drosophila willistoni. This work is concentrated in studying the pattern of expression of these genes and their parental genes, which are described in two different sections of this work. An additional section of this work is a compilation of pseudogenes in different species and of functions that have been suggested for these non-coding sequences.


Biology | Life Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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