Article

What does the Allen Gene Expression Atlas tell us about mouse brain evolution?

06/2012;
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We use the Allen Gene Expression Atlas (AGEA) and the OMA ortholog dataset to
investigate the evolution of mouse-brain neuroanatomy from the standpoint of
the molecular evolution of brain-specific genes. For each such gene, using the
phylogenetic tree for all fully sequenced species and the presence of orthologs
of the gene in these species, we construct and assign a discrete measure of
evolutionary age. The gene expression profile of all gene of similar age,
relative to the average gene expression profile, distinguish regions of the
brain that are over-represented in the corresponding evolutionary timescale. We
argue that the conclusions one can draw on evolution of twelve major brain
regions from such a molecular level analysis supplements existing knowledge of
mouse brain evolution and introduces new quantitative tools, especially for
comparative studies, when AGEA-like data sets for other species become
available. Using the functional role of the genes representational of a certain
evolutionary timescale and brain region we compare and contrast, wherever
possible, our observations with existing knowledge in evolutionary
neuroanatomy.

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