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Abstract Linkage relationships of homologous loci in man and mouse were used to estimate the mean length of autosomal segments conserved during evolution. Comparison of the locations of greater than 83 homologous loci revealed 13 conserved segments. Map distances between the outermost markers of these 13 segments are known for the mouse and range from 1 to 24 centimorgans. Methods were developed for using this sample of conserved segments to estimate the mean length of all conserved autosomal segments in the genome. This mean length was estimated to be 8.1 +/- 1.6 centimorgans. Evidence is presented suggesting that chromosomal rearrangements that determine the lengths of these segments are randomly distributed within the genome. The estimated mean length of conserved segments was used to predict the probability that certain loci, such as peptidase-3 and renin, are linked in man given that homologous loci are chi centimorgans apart in the mouse. The mean length of conserved segments was also used to estimate the number of chromosomal rearrangements that have disrupted linkage since divergence of man and mouse. This estimate was shown to be 178 +/- 39 rearrangements.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
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