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Gene Conversion and the Infinite-Sites Model

Stanley A. Sawyer
Lecture Notes-Monograph Series
Vol. 18, Selected Proceedings of the Sheffield Symposium on Applied Probability (1991), pp. 269-277
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4355661
Page Count: 9
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Gene Conversion and the Infinite-Sites Model
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Abstract

The infinite-sites model assumes that there have been only simple point mutations since the common ancestor of a sample of aligned DNA sequences, and in particular no recombination or gene conversion. A statistical test for detecting a history of gene conversion within a sample of aligned DNA sequences is applied to various data sets. The results show strong evidence for multiple intragenic conversion events at two loci in the bacterium E. coli and in a repeated family in maize. The data suggest that the rate of these short conversion events may be much larger than the neutral mutation rate per base. Thus the basic assumptions of the infinite-sites model may often be violated in natural data sets. The same test applied to a gene in an RNA virus and to a sample of mitochondrial DNA did not show gene conversion.

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