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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Aug 1;88(15):6667-71.

Nucleotide polymorphism and evolution in the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene (gapA) in natural populations of Salmonella and Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802.


Nucleotide sequences of the gapA gene, encoding the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, were determined for 16 strains of Salmonella and 13 strains of Escherichia coli recovered from natural populations. Pairs of sequences from strains representing the eight serovar groups of Salmonella differed, on average, at 3.8% of nucleotide sites and 1.1% of inferred amino acids, and comparable values for E. coli were an order of magnitude smaller (0.2% and 0.1%, respectively). The rate of substitution at synonymous sites was significantly higher for codons specifying the catalytic domain of the enzyme than for those encoding the NAD(+)-binding domain, but the nonsynonymous substitution rate showed the opposite relationship. For Salmonella, statistical tests for nonrandom clustering of polymorphic sites failed to provide evidence that intragenic recombination or gene conversion has contributed to the generation of allelic diversity. The topology of a tree constructed from the gapA sequences was generally similar to that of phylogenetic trees of the strains based on multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, but the level of divergence of gapA in Salmonella group V from other Salmonella and E. coli strains is much greater than that indicated by DNA hybridization for the genome as a whole.

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