Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 24, Issue 1–2, pp 94–102 | Cite as

Nucleotide sequence and evolution of the orangutan ε globin gene region and surrounding Alu repeats

  • Ben F. Koop
  • Michael M. Miyamoto
  • Jennifer E. Embury
  • Morris Goodman
  • John Czelusniak
  • Jerry L. Slightom


We have mapped and sequenced the ε globin gene and seven surrounding Alu repeat sequences in the orangutan β globin gene cluster and have compared these and other orangutan sequences to orthologously related human sequences. Noncoding flanking and intron sequences, synonymous sites of α, γ, and ε globin coding regions, and Alu sequences in human and orangutan diverge by 3.2%, 2.7%, and 3.7%, respectively. These values compare to 3.6% from DNA hybridizations and 3.4% from the ωη globin gene region. If as suggested by fossil evidence and “molecular clock” calculations, human and orangutan lineages diverged about 10–15 MYA, the rate of noncoding DNA evolution in the two species is 1.0–1.5×10−9 substitutions per site per year. We found no evidence for either the addition or deletion of Alu sequences from the β globin gene cluster nor is there any evidence for recent concerted evolution among the Alu sequences examined. Both phylogenetic and phenetic distance analyses suggest that Alu sequences within the α and β globin gene clusters arose close to the time of simian and prosimian primate divergence (about 50–60 MYA). We conclude that Alu sequences have been evolving at the rate typical of noncoding DNA for the majority of primate history.

Key words

Epsilon globin Alu repeats Orangutan Nucleotide sequences 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben F. Koop
    • 1
  • Michael M. Miyamoto
    • 2
  • Jennifer E. Embury
    • 3
  • Morris Goodman
    • 3
  • John Czelusniak
    • 3
  • Jerry L. Slightom
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and GeneticsWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  4. 4.Division of Molecular BiologyThe Upjohn CompanyKalamazooUSA

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