Tandem duplication of D-loop and ribosomal RNA sequences in lizard mitochondrial DNA

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Science  26 Sep 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4771, pp. 1425-1427
DOI: 10.1126/science.3018925


Some Cnemidophorus exsanguis have mitochondrial DNA's (mtDNA's) that are 22.2 kilobases (kb) in size, whereas most have mtDNA's of 17.4 kb. Restriction site mapping, DNA transfer hybridization experiments, and electron microscopy show that the size increment stems from the tandem duplication of a 4.8-kb region that includes regulatory sequences and transfer and ribosomal RNA genes. This observation is notable in that sequences outside of the control region are involved in major length variation. Besides revealing a novel form of mtDNA evolution in animals, these duplications provide a useful system for investigating the molecular and evolutionary biology of animal mtDNA.