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Uploaded on Sep 3, 2009
Excerpts from a 1972 letter by Susumu Ohno on "Junk DNA". While it was not technically the first paper to refer to "junk DNA", it was the one that everyone seems to reference. This is a companion video to my other video on "junk DNA"
Dr. Ohno is one of the greats of molecular genetics.
Ohno postulated that gene duplication plays a major role in evolution in his classic book Evolution by Gene Duplication (1970). While subsequent research has overwhelmingly confirmed the key role of gene duplication in molecular evolution, research to evaluate Ohno's model for the preservation of duplicate genes (now termed neofunctionalization) is ongoing and very active. He also discovered in 1956 that the Barr body of mammalian female nuclei was in fact a condensed X chromosome. In Evolution by Gene Duplication, he also suggested that vertebrate genome is the result of one or more entire genome duplications; variations of this idea have come to be known as the 2R hypothesis (also called "Ohno's hypothesis"). He indicated that mammalian X chromosomes are conserved among species; it has been referred to as Ohno's law.
Reference for the original article: So much "junk" DNA in our genome, In Evolution of Genetic Systems (1972). H. H. Smith. ed. pp. 366-370.