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Genetics. 1997 Jan;145(1):185-95.

The evolution of mammalian olfactory receptor genes.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


We performed a comparative study of four subfamilies of olfactory receptor genes first identified in the dog to assess changes in the gene family during mammalian evolution, and to begin linking the dog genetic map to that of humans. The human subfamilies were localized to chromosomes 7, 11, and 19. The two subfamilies that were tightly linked in the dog genome were also tightly linked in the human genome. The four subfamilies were compared in human (primate), horse (perissodactyl), and a variety of artiodactyls and carnivores. Some changes in gene number were detected, but overall subfamily size appeared to have been established before the divergence of these mammals 60-100 million years ago.

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