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Genomics. 2001 May 1;73(3):255-63.

Human rDNA: evolutionary patterns within the genes and tandem arrays derived from multiple chromosomes.

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  • 1A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware 19899, USA. igonzale@nemours.org


Human rDNA forms arrays on five chromosome pairs and is homogenized by concerted evolution through recombination and gene conversion (loci RNR1, RNR2, RNR3, RNR4, RNR5, OMIM: 180450). Homogenization is not perfect, however, so that it becomes possible to study its efficiency within genes, within arrays, and between arrays by measuring and comparing DNA sequence variation. Previous studies with randomly cloned genomic DNA fragments showed that different parts of the gene evolve at different rates but did not allow comparison of rDNA sequences derived from specific chromosomes. We have now cloned and sequenced rDNA fragments from specific acrocentric chromosomes to (1) study homogenization along the rDNA and (2) compare homogenization within chromosomes and between homologous and nonhomologous chromosomes. Our results show high homogeneity among regulatory and coding regions of rDNA on all chromosomes, a surprising homogeneity among adjacent distal non-rDNA sequences, and the existence of one to three very divergent intergenic spacer classes within each array.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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