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Mol Biol Evol. 2002 Dec;19(12):2261-4.

Heteroplasmy and evidence for recombination in the mitochondrial control region of the flatfish Platichthys flesus.

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Department of Marine Biology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands.


The general assumption that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) does not undergo recombination has been challenged recently in invertebrates. Here we present the first direct evidence for recombination in the mtDNA of a vertebrate, the flounder Platichthys flesus. The control region in the mtDNA of this flatfish is characterized by the presence of a variable number of tandem repeats and a high level of heteroplasmy. Two types of repeats were recognized, differing by two C-T point mutations. Most individuals carry a pure "C" or a pure "T" array, but one individual showed a compound "CT" array. Such a compound array is evidence for recombination in the mtDNA control region from the flounder.

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