Evidence for biased gene conversion in concerted evolution of ribosomal DNA

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Science  18 Jan 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4991, pp. 308-310
DOI: 10.1126/science.1987647


Concerted evolution is the production and maintenance of homogeneity within repeated families of DNA. Two mechanisms--unequal crossing over and biased gene conversion--have been the principal explanations of concerted evolution. Concerted evolution of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) arrays is thought to be largely the result of unequal crossing over. However, concerted evolution of rDNA in parthenogenetic lizards of hybrid origin is strongly biased toward one of two parental sequences, which is consistent with biased gene conversion as the operative mechanism. The apparent gene conversions are independent of initial genome dosage and result in homogenization of rDNA arrays across all nucleolar organizer regions.

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