Caenorhabditis globin genes: Rapid intronic divergence contrasts with conservation of silent exonic sites

Andrew P. Kloek, James P. McCarter, Robert A. Setterquist, Tim Schedl, Daniel E. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Globin genes from the Caenorhabditis species briggsae and remanei were identified and compared with a previously described C. elegans globin gene. The encoded globins share between 86% and 93% amino acid identity, with most of the changes in or just before the putative B helix. C. remanei was found to have two globin alleles, Crg1-1 and Crg1-2. The coding sequence for each is interrupted by a single intron in the same position. The exons of the two genes are only 1% divergent at the nucleotide level and encode identical polypeptides. In contrast, intron sequence divergence is 16% and numerous insertions and deletions have significantly altered the size and content of both introns. Genetic crosses show that Crg1-1 and Crg1-2 segregate as alleles. Homozygous lines for each allele were constructed and northern analysis confirmed the expression of both alleles. These data reveal an unusual situation wherein two alleles encoding identical proteins have diverged much more rapidly in their introns than the silent sites of their coding sequences, suggesting multiple gene conversion events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Alleles
  • Evolution
  • Gene conversion
  • Introns
  • Nematode

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