Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Evol. 1986 Jan;3(1):1-18.

A comparison of the small ribosomal RNA genes from the mitochondrial DNA of the great apes and humans: sequence, structure, evolution, and phylogenetic implications.

Author information

Division of Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109.


Restriction endonuclease fragments produced by EcoRI/AvaI or KpnI digestion and containing the small (12S) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes from the mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) of the common chimpanzee, pygmy chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan were inserted into the plasmids pBR322 or pADD1. After species verification the inserted fragments were digested with SauIIIA, subcloned into M13mp7 vectors, and sequenced. The small rRNA gene sequences were compared with each other and with the published human sequence (Anderson et al. 1981). Substitutions were detected at 118 of the 955 nucleotide positions compared. Pairwise, the sequence differences ranged from 1% (between the chimpanzee species) to 9% (comparisons involving the orangutan); the proportion that were transitions ranged from 87% to 100%. Deletions and/or additions were noted at seven locations. With respect to evolutionary sequence lability, kinetic analysis indicated the presence of at least two classes of nucleotide positions; the more labile class occurs in sequences thought to form self-complementary duplexes (stems) in the mature rRNA. The high frequency of compensating substitutions, which maintain base-pairing within these sequences, corroborates their inferred structure. Phylogenetic inferences drawn from the sequence comparisons support the notion of an approximately equidistant relationship among chimpanzees, gorilla, and man, with the orangutan much less closely related. However, inference from a shared deletion suggests that the gorilla and the chimpanzees may be more closely related to one another than they are to man.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center