Understanding tissue expression evolution: from expression phylogeny to phylogenetic network

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Our understanding of tissue expression evolution in multi-cellular model organisms has been considerably advanced with the help of high-throughput technologies from EST, microarray to RNA-seq. Yet, many controversies remained unsolved, ranging from the evolutionary patterns of tissue expressions to expression phylogenetic analysis. Moreover, despite numerous reports published, it is desirable to have a general framework for study of tissue expression evolution. In this article, we first provide an up-to-date and concise review for the study of tissue expression evolution in multi-cellular organisms. While the expression phylogeny of the same tissues sampled from closely or intermediately related species largely reflects the species phylogeny, we demonstrate that phylogenetic network approach may shed some lights for our understanding of the developmental similarity and evolutionary relatedness during the multi-tissue evolution.

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