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J Mol Evol. 1999 Feb;48(2):209-12.

Synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates in diatoms: a comparison between chloroplast and nuclear genes.

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Department of Biology and Health Services, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA 16444, USA.


Rates of synonymous and nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions and codon usage bias (ENC) were estimated for a number of nuclear and chloroplast genes in a sample of centric and pennate diatoms. The results suggest that DNA evolution has taken place, on an average, at a slower rate in the chloroplast genes than in the nuclear genes: a rate variation pattern similar to that observed in land plants. Synonymous substitution rates in the chloroplast genes show a negative association with the degree of codon usage bias, suggesting that genes with a higher degree of codon usage bias have evolved at a slower rate. While this relationship has been shown in both prokaryotes and multicellular eukaryotes, it has not been demonstrated before in diatoms.

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