A translocated mitochondrial cytochrome b pseudogene in voles (Rodentia: Microtus)

J. A. DeWoody, R. K. Chesser, R. J. Baker

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A full-length cytochrome b pseudogene was found in rodents; it has apparently been translocated from a mitochondrion to the nuclear genome in the subfamily Arvicolinae. The pseudogene (ψcytb) differed from its mitochondrial counterpart at 201 of 1143 sites (17.6%) and by four indels. Cumulative evidence suggests that the pseudogene has been translocated to the nucleus. Phylogenetic reconstruction indicates that the pseudogene arose before the diversification of M. arvalis/M. rossiaemeridionalis from M. oeconomus, but after the divergence of the peromyscine/sigmodontine/arvicoline clades some ~10 MYA. Published rates of divergence between mitochondrial genes and their nuclear pseudogenes suggest that the translocation of this mitochondrial gene to the nuclear genome occurred some 6 MYA, in agreement with the phylogenetic evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-382
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Cytochrome b
  • Microtus
  • MtDNA
  • Pseudogene
  • Rodent
  • Translocation


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