A new class of human interspersed repeated sequences distinct from the Alul family was found by screening a human gene library with a mouse ribosomal gene non-transcribed spacer probe (rDNA NTS). A member of this sequence family was localized to a 251 bp segment between the human δ and β globin genes: a region previously judged to be devoid of repeated DNA. The complete nucleotide sequence of this segment revealed a tandem block of 17 TG dinucleotides, a feature hypothesized by others to be a recombination hot spot responsible for gene conversion in the γ globin locus region. When the genomes of Xenopus, pigeon, slime mold and yeast were examined, reiterated sequences homologous to both the mouse rDNA NTS and human globin repeat were found in every case. The discovery of this extraordinarily conserved repeated sequence family appears to have depended upon not using salmon sperm DNA during hybridization. The use of eucaryotic carrier DNA may bias the search for repeated sequences against any which may be highly conserved during eucaryotic evolution.
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