[Taxacom] Primate miRNA

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Thu Nov 6 13:25:11 CST 2008

On Thu, November 6, 2008 6:38 pm, John Grehan wrote:
> Zhang et al 2008. Mol Biol Evol 25: 1493-1502. Molecular evolution of a
> primate-specific microRNA family.
> p. 1495. "It was shown that mouse, rate, and dog do not have homologs of
> the miRNAs in this family; therefore, the emergence and rapid expansion
> of this miRNA family ARE RESTRICTED TO PRIMATES" (emphasis mine). The
> last bit seems to be stupid because there is nothing to preclude this
> family being in any other non-primate group. Am I wrong on this?

Rodents + lagomorphs are sister to primates (with some small groups
thrown in) and carnivores are part of the group sister to that, so for
the miRNAs to be ancestral would require two losses, or a loss and a
gain.  The sentence probably should have been phrased as "likely
restricted to primates", but it's a reasonable conclusion.

Karl Magnacca
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Zoology
Trinity College, Dublin 2

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