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Arch Hellen Med, 28(3), May-June 2011, 317-322


The adaptive genome: A hypothesis and its possible impact on diagnostic methodology

Α. Velegraki,1 M.Ε. Kambouris2
1Laboratory of Mycology, Department of Microbiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
2Department of Medical Laboratories, Faculty of Health and Caring Professions, Technological and Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece

Genomics provides the chance to view the genome from new angles, including regarding it as the main pillar of evolution, transforming the cellular status of an organism from the epitome of existence into a mere genomic expression and the means of projecting superiority and gaining distinction. The elucidation of the human genome sequence offered only a glimpse into the organization of the complex eukaryotic genome. The nature and function of the substantial part of the genome which has no apparent coding or regulatory sequences remains unknown. If the dynamic nature of the genome is accepted, then certain interesting predictions can be made: Accepting a continuum for evolution, some non-coding regions of various, evolving organisms should exhibit considerable variation. New genomic entities could have appeared in such non-coding regions, such as deactivated viral genomes and pseudogenes. Entities such as these are subject to neutral selection, regardless of the deactivation procedure. Thus, the current noncoding regions may well have once been coding sequences which became deactivated and then recycled to allow coding to take place new, through transposition, translocation and transduction. Such spatial recycling permits intragenomic position shifting of genes and sequences, resulting in different regulation due to a change of the cis regulatory environment. The three-dimensional positioning of the genes and sequences in the mesophasic nucleus also changes, as does their inclusion in heterochromatic instead of euchromatic regions, and vice versa. It would be interesting to know whether new versions of a genome, with indistinguishable genomic and regulatory content, but differing in its distribution and position would constitute different species, changing in this way the very fabric of the diagnostic priorities and the conventions of the molecular procedures currently in use or under development.

Key words: Developomics, Diagnostic algorithm, Genomics, Identification, 3-D chromatine configuration.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine