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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Feb 1, 1994; 91(3): 994–998.
PMCID: PMC521440

Concerted evolution at the population level: pupfish HindIII satellite DNA sequences.


The canonical monomers (approximately 170 bp) of an abundant (1.9 x 10(6) copies per diploid genome) satellite DNA sequence family in the genome of Cyprinodon variegatus, a "pupfish" that ranges along the Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to central Mexico, are divergent in base sequence in 10 of 12 samples collected from natural populations. The divergence involves substitutions, deletions, and insertions, is marked in scope (mean pairwise sequence similarity = 61.6%; range = 35-95.9%), is largely confined to the 3' half of the monomer, and is not correlated with the distance among collecting sites. Repetitive cloning and direct genomic sequencing experiments failed to detect intrapopulation and intraindividual variation, suggesting high levels of sequence homogeneity within populations. The satellite sequence has therefore undergone "concerted evolution," at the level of the local population. Concerted evolution has previously almost always been discussed in terms of the divergence of species or higher taxa; its intraspecific occurrence apparently has not been reported previously. The generality of the observation is difficult to evaluate, for although satellite DNAs from a large number of organisms have been studied in detail, there appear to be little or no other data on their sequence variation in natural populations. The relationship (if any) between concerted, population level, satellite DNA divergence and the extent of gene flow/genetic isolation among conspecific natural populations remains to be established.

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Selected References

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