This paper will be quoted for many years as the basis for faith in the de novo origin by evolution of useful proteins. How good is the evidence?
De Novo Origination of a New Protein-Coding Gene in a yeast species by Wen Wang et al
“THE total number of different proteins in all organisms on earth is estimated to be 10exp10 to 10exp12. How the protein repertoire evolved the giant diversity that underlies the evolution of the complexity of life is attracting many evolutionary biologists to the field.
Origination of new genes is an important mechanism generating genetic novelties during the evolution of an organism. Processes creating new genes using pre-existing genes as the raw materials are well characterized, such as exon shuffling, gene duplication, retroposition, gene fusion, and fission. However, the process of how a new gene is de novo created from noncoding sequence is largely unknown.
On the basis of genome comparison we have identified a new de novo protein-coding gene, BSC4 that may be involved in the DNA repair pathway, when shifted to a nutrient-poor environment.
We propose that a new de novo protein-coding gene may have evolved from a previously expressed non-coding sequence.”
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.107.084491 May 2008