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Table 1 Fates of co-opted genes under four different evolutionary scenarios

From: The Concept of Co-option: Why Evolution Often Looks Miraculous

  One gene Gene duplication (2 copies)
  A C
Plesiomorphic function lost Direct co-option with a complete functional shift: gene has derived function Co-option of a duplicated element, complete functional shift in one of the copies: one copy shows only the derived function, the other retains the plesiomorphic function
  B D
Plesiomorphic function retained Direct co-option with retention of plesiomorphic function: gene shows both plesiomorphic and derived functions Co-option of a duplicated element with retention of plesiomorphic function: one copy shows both plesiomorphic + derived functions, the other retains the plesiomorphic function