Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 85–93

Evolutionary sequence divergence within repeated DNA families of higher plant genomes

II. Analysis of Thermal Denaturation
  • Richard S. Preisler
  • William F. Thompson

DOI: 10.1007/BF01732678

Cite this article as:
Preisler, R.S. & Thompson, W.F. J Mol Evol (1981) 17: 85. doi:10.1007/BF01732678


An assay based on derivative analysis of thermal denaturation (melting) behavior of reassociated DNA was developed in an attempt to characterize the sequence relationships in repeated DNA families according to the homogeneous or heterogeneous models of Bendich and Anderson (1977). The validity of the technique was confirmed by the use of deaminatedEscherichia coli DNA models for repetitive families. The melting data for DNA reassociated at two different temperatures provided strong evidence thatPisum sativum repeated families are mostly heterogeneous, while homogeneous families predominate inVigna radiata. These findings, together with other differences between the two genomes, suggest that the rate of sequence amplification has been higher in the evolutionary history ofPisum DNA. A general trend seems to exist for high amplification rates in large, highly repetitive plant genomes such asPisum and lower rates in smaller plant genomes such asVigna, as well as in the generally smaller, less repetitive genomes of most animal species.

Key words

Repeated DNA families Homogeneous and heterogeneous families Thermal denaturation of reassociated DNA First derivative analysis DeaminatedEscherichia coli DNA Sequence amplification and divergence Genome evolutionary mechanisms 

Abbreviations used


tetraethylammonium chloride


the product of molar concentration of DNA nucleotides and time of incubation (mol s/L)


1,4-piperazinedietha-nesulfonic acid


the temperature at which half of the nucleotides in solution are unpaired


150 mM NaCl-15 mM sodium citrate




nucleotide pairs

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard S. Preisler
    • 1
    • 2
  • William F. Thompson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution of WashingtonStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladephiaUSA

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