Adaptive evolution of color vision genes in higher primates

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Science  01 Sep 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5228, pp. 1265-1267
DOI: 10.1126/science.7652574


The intron 4 sequences of the three polymorphic alleles at the X-linked color photo-pigment locus in the squirrel monkey and the marmoset reveal that the alleles in each species are exceptionally divergent. The data further suggest either that each triallelic system has arisen independently in these two New World monkey lineages, or that in each species at least seven deletions and insertions (14 in the two species) in intron 4 have been transferred and homogenized among the alleles by gene conversion or recombination. In either case, the alleles in each species apparently have persisted more than 5 million years and probably have been maintained by overdominant selection.

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