GC content evolution of the human and mouse genomes: insights from the study of processed pseudogenes in regions of different recombination rates

J Mol Evol. 2006 Jun;62(6):745-52. doi: 10.1007/s00239-005-0186-0. Epub 2006 Apr 28.


Processed pseudogenes are generated by reverse transcription of a functional gene. They are generally nonfunctional after their insertion and, as a consequence, are no longer subjected to the selective constraints associated with functional genes. Because of this property they can be used as neutral markers in molecular evolution. In this work, we investigated the relationship between the evolution of GC content in recently inserted processed pseudogenes and the local recombination pattern in two mammalian genomes (human and mouse). We confirmed, using original markers, that recombination drives GC content in the human genome and we demonstrated that this is also true for the mouse genome despite lower recombination rates. Finally, we discussed the consequences on isochores evolution and the contrast between the human and the mouse pattern.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Composition*
  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Pseudogenes*
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Time Factors