Hemoglobins A and A2 in New World Primates: Comparative Variation and Its Evolutionary Implications

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Science  12 Dec 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3911, pp. 1428-1431
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3911.1428


Hemoglobin A22δ2) in New World primates represents about 1/160 to 1/16 of total hemoglobin and, by virtue of this low proportion, is presumed to be functionally unimportant. Nonetheless, A2 exhibits genetic polymorphism by electrophoresis in three out of five genera, whereas the major component, hemoglobin A (α2β2), is electrophoretically invariant. Moreover, in four genera, including man, the evolutionary accumulation of mutations has been greater in δ than in β Such findings suggest that both polymorphism and evolutionary changes can accrue to an effectively functionless and thus selectively nearly netutral gene.

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