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Gene. 2000 May 2;248(1-2):15-22.

Isolation and characterization of cytochrome c from the marine copepod Tigriopus californicus.

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Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


Mitochondrial energy production requires complex interactions among proteins encoded in both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. The intergenomic coevolution of interacting gene products has been previously suggested based on interspecific comparisons of cytochrome c (encoded by the nuclear CYC gene) and cytochrome c oxidase (partly encoded in the mitochondrial DNA by the COX1, COX2 and COX3 genes). In the intertidal copepod, Tigriopus californicus, non-synonymous substitutions in the COX1 gene have previously been found in interpopulation comparisons. In order to determine if CYC also shows interpopulation variation, this gene was isolated from a cDNA library using a degenerate primer/polymerase chain reaction approach. Characterization of a cDNA sequence and 25 genomic DNA sequences derived from four T. californicus populations yielded the following results: (1) the T. californicus CYC gene is interrupted by an intron that occurs at the same position as the intron found in vertebrate CYC genes; (2) there is extensive sequence variation within both the coding region and intron of this gene and the vast majority of this variation occurs between sequences drawn from geographically distinct populations; (3) the coding sequence variation includes a minimum of five amino acid replacement substitutions; (4) segregation of length variants among offspring in an interpopulation cross revealed genotypic ratios consistent with the proposed allelic nature of the CYC variants. These results demonstrate that the requisite genetic variation required for intergenomic coevolution exists in the CYC-COX system in T. californicus.

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