Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Evol. 2000 Jul;17(7):1022-31.

Lineage-specific evolutionary rate in mammalian mtDNA.

Author information

  • 1Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare, Universit√† di Bari, Bari, Italy.


The existence of a lineage-specific nucleotide substitution rate in mammalian mtDNA has been investigated by analyzing the mtDNA of all available species, that is, 35 complete mitochondrial genomes from 14 mammalian orders. A detailed study of their evolutionary dynamics has been carried out on both ribosomal RNA and first and second codon positions (P12) of H-strand protein-coding genes by using two different types of relative-rate tests. Results are quite congruent between ribosomal and P12 sites. Significant rate variations have been observed among orders and among species of the same order. However, rate variation does not exceed 1.8-fold between the fastest (Proboscidea and Primates) and the slowest (Perissodactyla) evolving orders. Thus, the observed mitochondrial rate variations among taxa do not invalidate the suitability of mtDNA for drawing mammalian phylogeny. Dependence of evolutionary rate differences on variations in mutation and/or fixation rates was examined. Body size, generation time, and metabolic rate were tested, and no significant correlation was observed between them and the taxon-specific evolutionary rates, most likely because the latter might be influenced by multiple overlapping variable constraints.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center