Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Primate Mitochondrial DNA

Mol Biol Evol. 1988 Nov;5(6):626-44. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a040524.


We determined nucleotide sequences of homologous 0.9-kb fragments of mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) derived from four species of old-world monkeys, one species of new-world monkeys, and two species of prosimians. With these nucleotide sequences and homologous sequences for five species of hominoids, we constructed a phylogenetic tree for the four groups of primates. The phylogeny obtained is generally consistent with evolutionary trees constructed in previous studies. Our results also suggest that the rate of nucleotide substitution for mtDNAs in hominines (human, chimpanzee, and gorilla) may have slowed down compared with that for old-world monkeys. This evolutionary feature of mitochondrial genes is similar to one found in nuclear genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cebidae / genetics
  • Cercopithecidae / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial*
  • Hominidae / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • Primates* / classification
  • Primates* / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Strepsirhini / genetics


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Transfer

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M22650
  • GENBANK/M22651
  • GENBANK/M22653
  • GENBANK/M22654
  • GENBANK/M22655
  • GENBANK/M22656
  • GENBANK/M22657
  • GENBANK/M22681