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Mol Biol Evol. 2001 Aug;18(8):1494-501.

DNA sequence variation in the mitochondrial control region of red-backed voles (Clethrionomys).

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 79409-3131, USA.


The complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region was sequenced for 71 individuals from five species of the rodent genus Clethrionomys both to understand patterns of variation and to explore the existence of previously described domains and other elements. Among species, the control region ranged from 942 to 971 bp in length. Our data were compatible with the proposal of three domains (extended terminal associated sequences [ETAS], central, conserved sequence blocks [CSB]) within the control region. The most conserved region in the control region was the central domain (12% of nucleotide positions variable), whereas in the ETAS and CSB domains, 22% and 40% of nucleotide positions were variable, respectively. Tandem repeats were encountered only in the ETAS domain of Clethrionomys rufocanus. This tandem repeat found in C. rufocanus was 24 bp in length and was located at the 5' end of the control region. Only two of the proposed CSB and ETAS elements appeared to be supported by our data; however, a "CSB1-like" element was also documented in the ETAS domain.

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