Rabbit globin pseudogene ψβ2 is a hybrid of δ- and β-globin gene sequences

R. C. Hardison, J. B. Margot

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25 Scopus citations


The evolutionary history of the rabbit globin pseudogene ψβ2 was studied by completing its nucleotide sequence and aligning the sequence with that of the rabbit adult globin gene β1 and the human minor adult globin gene δ. The 5' flanking region and exon 1 of ψβ2 were most similar to rabbit β1, but the large intervening sequence and the 3' untranslated region were most similar to human δ. Intron 1 and exon 2 were equally similar to both δ and β1. This pattern indicates that ψβ2 was originally a δ-like gene that acquired the 5' portion of gene β1 by intrachromosomal gene conversion. The presence of a δ-globin gene sequence in both rabbits and humans shows that it is an ancient gene, predating the mammalian radiation that occurred over 85 Myr ago. Delta has shown a pronounced tendency to be altered in its 5' end during the course of mammalian evolution. Quantitative divergence analysis shows that the ancestor to rabbit ψβ2 was active until 20-30 Myr ago, during which time the lagomorph β-globin gene family apparently functioned without a pseudogene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-316
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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