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Structure and sequence of the Cu,Zn Sod gene in the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata: intron insertion/deletion and evolution of the gene.


We have cloned a 4-kb region encompassing the Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (Sod) gene from a genomic library of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, using a cDNA probe from Drosophila melanogaster. The coding sequence of 462 bases is equally as long as that in Drosophila species. The rate of amino acid replacement over the past 100 million years is approximately the same in the Diptera and in mammals, thus excluding the hypothesis (proposed to account for an apparent acceleration in rate of evolution of Sod over geological time) that the evolution of the SOD protein is much higher in the mammals than in other organisms. The coding region is interrupted by two introns in Ceratitis, whereas only one occurs in Drosophila. Phylogenetic comparisons indicate that the second intron was present in the common dipteran ancestor, but was lost shortly after the divergence of the Drosophila lineage from other Diptera. Analysis of the exon/intron structure of Sod in various animal phyla, plants, and fungi indicates that intron insertions as well as deletions have occurred in the evolution of the Sod gene.

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