The vertebrate olfactory receptor (OR) subgenome harbors the largest known gene family, which has been expanded by the need to provide recognition capacity for millions of potential odorants. We implemented an automated procedure to identify all OR coding regions from published sequences. This led us to the identification of 831 OR coding regions (including pseudogenes) from 24 vertebrate species. The resulting dataset was subjected to neighbor-joining phylogenetic analysis and classified into 32 distinct families, 14 of which include only genes from tetrapodan species (Class II ORs). We also report here the first identification of OR sequences from a marsupial (koala) and a monotreme (platypus). Analysis of these OR sequences suggests that the ancestral mammal had a small OR repertoire, which expanded independently in all three mammalian subclasses. Classification of ``fish-like'' (Class I) ORs indicates that some of these ancient ORs were maintained and even expanded in mammals.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2000
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