Publications - Published papers

Please find below publications of our group. Currently, we list 500 papers. Some of the publications are in collaboration with the group of Sonja Prohaska and are also listed in the publication list for her individual group. Access to published papers (access) is restricted to our local network and chosen collaborators. If you have problems accessing electronic information, please let us know:

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Expansion of gene clusters, circular orders, and the shortest Hamiltonian path problem

Prohaska, Sonja J and Berkemer, Sarah J and Gärtner, Fabian and Gatter, Thomas and Retzlaff, Nancy and Siederdissen, Christian Höner and Stadler, Peter F and others,


PREPRINT 18-044:


Journal of mathematical biology: 1--29


Clusters of paralogous genes such as the famous HOX cluster of developmental transcription factors tend to evolve by stepwise duplication of its members, often involving unequal crossing over. Gene conversion and possibly other mechanisms of concerted evolution further obfuscate the phylogenetic relationships. As a consequence, it is very difficult or even impossible to disentangle the detailed history of gene duplications in gene clusters. In this contribution we show that the expansion of gene clusters by unequal crossing over as proposed by Walter Gehring leads to distinctive patterns of genetic distances, namely a subclass of circular split systems. Furthermore, when the gene cluster was left undisturbed by genome rearrangements, the shortest Hamiltonian paths with respect to genetic distances coincide with the genomic order. This observation can be used to detect ancient genomic rearrangements of gene clusters and to distinguish gene clusters whose evolution was dominated by unequal crossing over within genes from those that expanded through other mechanisms.