Journal Article

Sequence variation in the guillemot (Alcidae: Cepphus) mitochondrial control region and its nuclear homolog.

M G Kidd and V L Friesen

in Molecular Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 15, issue 1, pages 61-70
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0737-4038
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-1719 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a025848
Sequence variation in the guillemot (Alcidae: Cepphus) mitochondrial control region and its nuclear homolog.

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We describe sequence variation in the mitochondrial control region and its nuclear homolog in three species and seven subspecies of guillemots (Cepphus spp.). Nuclear homologs of the 5' end of the control region were found in all individuals. Nuclear sequences were approximately 50% divergent from their mitochondrial counterparts and formed a distinct phylogenetic clade; the mitochondrial-nuclear introgression event must have predated the radiation of Cepphus. As in other vertebrates, the guillemot control region has a relatively conserved central block flanked by hypervariable 5' and 3' ends. Mean pairwise interspecific divergence values among control regions were lower than those in other birds. All individuals were heteroplasmic for the number of simple tandem nucleotide repeats (A(n)C) at the 3' end of the control region. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that black guillemots are basal to pigeon and spectacled guillemots, but evolutionary relationships among subspecies remain unresolved, possibly due to incomplete lineage sorting. Describing molecular variation in nuclear homologs of mitochondrial genes is of general interest in phylogenetics because, if undetected, the homologs may confound interpretations of mitochondrial phylogenies.

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Subjects: Evolutionary Biology ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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