Faculty Research 1980 - 1989


Structure and organization of the bovine beta-globin genes.

Document Type


Publication Date



Cattle: ge, Evolution, Genes-Reiterated, Globin: ge, Linkage-(Genetics), Pseudogenes, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Source

Mol Biol Evol 1985 Nov;2(6):514-25




Genomic clones spanning the entire cow beta-globin gene locus have been isolated and characterized. These clones demonstrate that the linkage of embryonic-like (epsilon) genes and pseudogenes (psi) to the previously described fetal (gamma) and adult (beta) genes is as follows: 5'-epsilon 3-epsilon 4-psi 3-beta-epsilon 1-epsilon 2-psi 1-psi 2-gamma-3'. Present data indicate that, like that of the goat, the fetal and adult genes arose via block duplication of an ancestral four-gene set: epsilon-epsilon-psi-beta. This duplication event preceded the divergence of cows and goats, which occurred greater than or equal to 18-20 Myr ago. However, cows do not have the additional four-gene block containing a preadult/stress globin gene (beta C). Furthermore, the cow fetal cluster contains an extra beta-like pseudogene, which apparently arose by a small-scale duplication. The fixation of this duplication may indicate a possible evolutionary role for pseudogenes.

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