Jan 1, 1997

Volatility of internal eliminated segments in germ line genes of hypotrichous ciliates

Molecular and Cellular Biology
M L DuBois, D M Prescott


Germ line micronuclear genes in ciliated protozoa contain two types of interrupting sequences. Some genes contain introns, but internal eliminated segments (IESs) are much more prevalent. IESs are AT-rich DNA segments that separate macronucleus-destined segments (MDSs) in micronuclear genes. All IESs are excised and destroyed when a micronucleus develops into a macronucleus after each cell mating. IESs have no discernible function. Therefore, an investigation of the behavior of IESs in evolution has been undertaken to assess their possible significance. The IESs in the micronuclear gene encoding the beta-subunit of the telomere-binding protein (beta-TP) are not conserved in number, position, sequence, or length during the evolution of four oxytrichid ciliates. In contrast, the scrambled pattern of MDSs and IESs of the micronuclear actin I gene has been conserved during evolution; however, the precise positions, sequences, and lengths of the IESs differ among species, and in some organisms the actin I gene contains an additional IES and MDS. Corresponding IESs in the actin I genes among the different organisms have shifted positions by 1 to 14 bp, presumably by a mutation-shifting mechanism, creating differences in the repeat se...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gene Dosage
Micronucleus, Germline
Binding Protein
Genes, Protozoan

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