Title

Mitochondrial DNA in the Nuclear Genome: An Analysis of Numt Insertions during Primate Evolution

Defense Date

5-31-2006

Graduation Date

Summer 1-1-2006

Availability

Campus Only

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Biological Sciences

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

Michael Jensen-Seaman

Committee Member

Brady A. Porter

Committee Member

David J. Lampe

Keywords

evolution, genome, insertion, mitochondria, nuclear DNA

Abstract

Fragments of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have inserted into their respective nuclear genomes multiple times ('numts', or nuclear mtDNA segments). Current studies lack a comparison to closely related species, and have been largely performed using the human genome alone, or several distantly related species. Here, a unique list of numts within the human genome was generated and used to characterize the numt distribution over the primate lineage, found to be significantly different than expected.

Two numts included complete mitochondrial gene sequences: ATPase8 and the lysine tRNA in one, and the phenylalanine tRNA in the other. To test the hypothesis that numts behave like 'fossils' due to the difference in mutation rate between the mitochondria and nucleus, these sequences were used to predict ancestral mtDNA sequences and compared to reconstructions using mtDNA itself. The results suggest that numts are less efficient at preserving mtDNA ancestral state than mtDNA itself.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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