Comparative evolutionary rates of introns and exons in murine rodents

J Mol Evol. 1997 Aug;45(2):125-30. doi: 10.1007/pl00006211.


Analysis of DNA sequences of 132 introns and 140 exons from 42 pairs of orthologous genes of mouse and rat was used to compare patterns of evolutionary change between introns and exons. The mean of the absolute difference in length (measured in base pairs) between the two species was nearly five times as high in the case of introns as in the case of exons. The average rate of nucleotide substitution in introns was very similar to the rate of synonymous substitution in exons, and both were about three times the rate of substitution at nonsynonymous sites in exons. G+C content of introns and exons of the same gene were correlated; but mean G+C content at the third positions of exons was significantly higher than that of introns or positions 1-2 of exons from the same gene. G+C content was conserved over evolutionary time, as indicated by strong correlations between mouse and rat; but the change in G+C content was greatest at position 3 of exons, intermediate in introns, and lowest at positions 1-2 in introns.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Composition
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Exons / genetics*
  • Genes / genetics
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Introns / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Rodentia / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid