The Pangenome concept

The Pangenome concept describes the interactions that occur among the collective genetic network, comprised of all living organisms and non-living genetic elements (NLGE), involved in the storage and transmission of genetic information, and considers the life and death of these organisms from the point of view of the development of new
genes and their distribution within the united genetic network.

This concept comprises a new way of viewing the genetic information of all organisms on Earth. According to this concept, the Pangenome is the common (collective) genetic content of all living organisms, as well as their organic molecules and complexes (DNA- and RNA-containing viruses, plasmids, transposons, insertion sequences) involved in the storage and transmission of genetic information. Pangenomic stability and variability are discussed. This concept provides information regarding the inherent fluidity and transmissibility of DNA among organisms of all types, including via horizontal gene transfer between closely related and formally unrelated macro- and microorganisms. The roles of death and of all known food chains as universal ways of gene distribution among different organisms are discussed. The contribution of bacteria and viruses in maintaining the circulation of genes within the Pangenome is presented. This concept implies that newly emerging genes are not bound to disappear upon the death of an organism or the extinction of a species, and that microorganisms comprise the main pool of genes. Some negative aspects of the intervention of molecular genetics, biotechnology, and ecology, including the spread of transgenic plants and animals, are summarized. It is shown that this concept may be used in medicine for the prognosis of an epidemic situation, particularly for newly emerging pathogens, and for the development of novel methods for the prophylaxis and early diagnosis of oncologic diseases. This concept can also help to identify promising approaches for the discovery of drugs with novel principles of action.

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The pangenome concept: a unifying view of genetic information.
Medical science monitor

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