Rate of base substitution in mitochondrial DNA

Value 0.02 substitutions/base pair/million years
Organism Primates
Reference Brown WM, George M Jr, Wilson AC. Rapid evolution of animal mitochondrial DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Apr76(4):1967-71. AbstractPubMed ID109836
Method Abstract: "Mitochondrial DNA was purified from four species of higher primates (Guinea baboon, rhesus macaque, guenon, and human) and digested with 11 restriction endonucleases. A cleavage map was constructed for the mitochondrial DNA of each species. Comparison of the maps, aligned with respect to the origin and direction of DNA replication, revealed that the species differ from one another at most of the cleavage sites. The degree of divergence in nucleotide sequence at these sites was calculated from the fraction of cleavage sites shared by each pair of species. By plotting the degree of divergence in mitochondrial DNA against time of divergence, the rate of base substitution could be calculated from the initial slope of the curve."
Comments Abstract: "The value obtained, 0.02 substitutions per base pair per million years, was compared with the value for single-copy nuclear DNA."
Entered by Uri M
ID 113081