Complex signatures of selection and gene conversion in the duplicated globin genes of house mice

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From: Genetics(Vol. 177, Issue 1)
Publisher: Genetics Society of America
Document Type: Clinical report
Length: 202 words

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Abstract :

Results of electrophoretic surveys have suggested that hemoglobin polymorphism may be maintained by balancing selection in natural populations of house mice, Mus musculus. Here we report a survey of nucleotide variation in the adult globin genes of house mice from South America. We surveyed nucleotide polymorphism in two closely linked [alpha]-globin paralogs and two closely linked [beta]-globin paralogs to test whether patterns of variation are consistent with a model of long-term balancing selection. Surprisingly high levels of nucleotide polymorphism at the two [beta]-globin paralogs were attributable to the segregation of two highly divergent haplotypes, [Hbb.sup.s] (which carries two identical [beta]-globin paralogs) and [Hbb.sup.d] (which carries two functionally divergent [beta]-globin paralogs). Interparalog gene conversion on the [Hbb.sup.s] haplotype has produced a highly unusual situation in which the two paralogs are more similar to one another than either one is to its allelic counterpart on the [Hbb.sup.d] haplotype. Levels of nucleotide polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium at the two [beta]-globin paralogs suggest a complex history of diversity-enhancing selection that may be responsible for long-term maintenance of alternative protein alleles. The alternative two-locus [beta]-globin haplotypes are associated with pronounced differences in intraerythrocyte glutathione and nitric oxide metabolism, suggesting a possible mechanism for selection on hemoglobin function.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A170194515