Author(s): Fitch DH, Strausbaugh LD
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Abstract We have evaluated codon usage bias in Drosophila histone genes and have obtained the nucleotide sequence of a 5,161-bp D. hydei histone gene repeat unit. This repeat contains genes for all five histone proteins (H1, H2a, H2b, H3, and H4) and differs from the previously reported one by a second EcoRI site. These D. hydei repeats have been aligned to each other and to the 5.0-kb (i.e., long) and 4.8-kb (i.e., short) histone repeat types from D. melanogaster. In each species, base composition at synonymous sites is similar to the average genomic composition and approaches that in the small intergenic spacers of the histone gene repeats. Accumulation of synonymous changes at synonymous sites after the species diverged is quite high. Both of these features are consistent with the relatively low codon usage bias observed in these genes when compared with other Drosophila genes. Thus, the generalization that abundantly expressed genes in Drosophila have high codon bias and low rates of silent substitution does not hold for the histone genes.
This article was published in Mol Biol Evol
and referenced in Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology