Feb 1, 1996

Length variation, heteroplasmy and sequence divergence in the mitochondrial DNA of four species of sturgeon (Acipenser)

J R BrownM J Smith


The extent of mtDNA length variation and heteroplasmy as well as DNA sequences of the control region and two tRNA genes were determined for four North American sturgeon species: Acipenser transmontanus, A. medirostris, A. fulvescens and A. oxyrhnychus. Across the Continental Divide, a division in the occurrence of length variation and heteroplasmy was observed that was concordant with species biogeography as well as with phylogenies inferred from restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) of whole mtDNA and pairwise comparisons of unique sequences of the control region. In all species, mtDNA length variation was due to repeated arrays of 78-82-bp sequences each containing a D-loop strand synthesis termination associated sequence (TAS). Individual repeats showed greater sequence conservation within individuals and species rather than between species, which is suggestive of concerted evolution. Differences in the frequencies of multiple copy genomes and heteroplasmy among the four species may be ascribed to differences in the rates of recurrent mutation. A mechanism that may offset the high rate of mutation for increased copy number is suggested on the basis that an increase in the number of functional TAS motifs might redu...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

RNA Conformation
DNA, Mitochondrial
Selfish DNA
Transfer RNA
Terminal Osseous Dysplasia and Pigmentary Defects
Oligonucleotide Primers
Homologous Sequences, Nucleic Acid
Restriction Mapping
Variation (Genetics)

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