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Genetics. 1991 Jul; 128(3): 607–617.
PMCID: PMC1204534

Length and Sequence Variation in Evening Bat D-Loop Mtdna


Length variation in D-loop mitochondrial DNA was observed after amplification with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 28% of 195 evening bats, Nycticeius humeralis, from seven colonies. Nucleotide sequences of PCR products show that this heteroplasmy is characterized by an 81-bp region which is tandemly repeated five to eight times. Southern blots using PCR products as probes on HaeIII genomic digests confirm the presence of heteroplasmy. Furthermore, densitometry of electrophoresed PCR products from 109 mother-offspring pairs indicate that heteroplasmy is stably transmitted from mother to offspring with one exception: a heteroplasmic offspring had a homoplasmic mother and sib. Nucleotide sequences from this family reveal that a repeat duplication and deletion occurred. The observed mutation rate per generation, μ, for length polymorphism is comparable to an independent estimate, μ = 10(-2), based on hierarchical diversity statistics. With the exception of the repeat nearest the proline tRNA gene, sequence similarities between repeats within bats are consistent with a model of concerted evolution due to unidirectional replication slippage. Selection is inferred to act on the first repeat because in comparison to other repeats it has the least sequence divergence among bats, the fewest transversions, and the lowest minimum free energy associated with folding.

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Selected References

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