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Gene. 2004 Aug 18;338(1):133-42.

Evolution of ancient satellite DNAs in sturgeon genomes.

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  • 1Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.


This study characterizes a repetitive DNA family of sequences in sturgeon, the PstI satellite DNA. We have found a high degree of preservation for these sequences, which are present in all 13 species analyzed, including within the genera Acipenser, Huso, and Scaphirhynchus of the family Acipenseridae. This is one of the most ancient satellite DNAs found to date, because it has been estimated to be more than 100 million years old. Alternatively, to the current view that most satellite DNAs are species-specific or preserved in a few closely related species, the PstI family and other previously characterized sturgeon satellite DNA, the HindIII, represent the most fascinating exceptions to the rapid sequence change usually undergone by satellite DNAs. Here, we compare the evolutionary pattern of these two satellite DNA families, PstI and HindIII, which differ markedly in length, sequence, and nucleotide composition. We have found that, in contrast to the situation in most other living beings, a high degree of preservation, a slow sequence change rate and slowed concerted evolution, appears to be a general rule for sturgeon satellite DNAs. The possible causes for all these features are discussed in the light of the evolutionary specifics found within these ancient organisms.

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