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Gene. 1994 Oct 21;148(2):357-62.

The complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the horse, Equus caballus: extensive heteroplasmy of the control region.

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Division of Evolutionary Molecular Systematics, Lund, Sweden.


The sequence of the mitochondrial (mt) DNA of the horse (Equus caballus) was determined. The length of the sequence presented is 16,660 bp. This figure, however, is not absolute due to pronounced heteroplasmy caused by variable numbers of the motif GTGCACCT in the control region of different molecules. Boundaries of the 13 peptide-coding genes were determined by the presence of start and stop codons, and by analogy with other eutherian mtDNAs. Three genes (COIII, NADH3 and NADH4) were not terminated by a stop codon. Comparison among the peptide-coding genes of the horse and eight other mammals suggests that the boundaries of some mt genes should be redefined. The number of repeats in the control region was determined by sequencing 77 different clones (20 direct plus 57 PCR clones). The number of repeats ranged from 2 to 29. There was a pronounced overrepresentation of clones with many repeats (22-27). Very few clones had a repeat number that was close to the mean number of repeats.

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