Asked Nov 25, 2019

What is the difference between orthologous genes and paralogous genes?


Expert Answer

Step 1

The gene families require the new terms that describe the relationship among the genes that constitute them. There are two types of homologous genes. They are orthologous and paralogous genes. Homologous genes that arise from a common ancestral DNA sequence.


Step 2

Orthologous genes are genes in two different species that arose from the same gene in the common ancestor of species. This means they arise by speciation. Usually, orthologous genes conserve the same function. For example, the genes for the ε-globin in humans and chimpanzees are orthologs because this gene already existed in their last common ancestor.

Therefore, when a species diverges into two distinct species, the copies of a single gene in the two resulting species are known as orthologous.

Step 3

On the other hand, paralogous genes arise by duplication. They are present within the same species, or within the same chromosome. This term usually denotes the different members of a gene family. For example, the genes for δ-globin and ε-globin in the human β-globin locus are close paralogs, and they both are...

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