Gene-family extension measures and correlations

Gon Carmi, Alexander Bolshoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The existence of multiple copies of genes is a well-known phenomenon. A gene family is a set of sufficiently similar genes, formed by gene duplication. In earlier works conducted on a limited number of completely sequenced and annotated genomes it was found that size of gene family and size of genome are positively correlated. Additionally, it was found that several atypical microbes deviated from the observed general trend. In this study, we reexamined these associations on a larger dataset consisting of 1484 prokaryotic genomes and using several ranking approaches. We applied ranking methods in such a way that genomes with lower numbers of gene copies would have lower rank. Until now only simple ranking methods were used; we applied the Kemeny optimal aggregation approach as well. Regression and correlation analysis were utilized in order to accurately quantify and characterize the relationships between measures of paralog indices and genome size. In addition, boxplot analysis was employed as a method for outlier detection. We found that, in general, all paralog indexes positively correlate with an increase of genome size. As expected, different groups of atypical prokaryotic genomes were found for different types of paralog quantities. Mycoplasmataceae and Halobacteria appeared to be among the most interesting candidates for further research of evolution through gene duplication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Comparative genomics
  • Genome size
  • Halophiles
  • Mycobacterium leprae
  • Mycoplasmas
  • Number of paralogs
  • Orientia


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