The paper by Sasaki et al in Science supports the MGD hypothesis. Indel rate is inversely related to point mutation rate. Indel is more of an epigenetic event.
Originally published in Science Express on 11 December 2008
Science 16 January 2009:
Vol. 323. no. 5912, pp. 401 - 404
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Chromatin-Associated Periodicity in Genetic Variation Downstream of Transcriptional Start Sites
Shin Sasaki,1* Cecilia C. Mello,2 Atsuko Shimada,3 Yoichiro Nakatani,1 Shin-ichi Hashimoto,4 Masako Ogawa,4 Kouji Matsushima,4 Sam Guoping Gu,2 Masahiro Kasahara,1 Budrul Ahsan,1 Atsushi Sasaki,1 Taro Saito,1 Yutaka Suzuki,5 Sumio Sugano,5 Yuji Kohara,6 Hiroyuki Takeda,3 Andrew Fire,2 Shinichi Morishita1,7
Might DNA sequence variation reflect germline genetic activity and underlying chromatin structure? We investigated this question using medaka (Japanese killifish, Oryzias latipes), by comparing the genomic sequences of two strains (Hd-rR and HNI) and by mapping 37.3 million nucleosome cores from Hd-rR blastulae and 11,654 representative transcription start sites from six embryonic stages. We observed a distinctive 200–base pair (bp) periodic pattern of genetic variation downstream of transcription start sites; the rate of insertions and deletions longer than 1 bp peaked at positions of approximately +200, +400, and +600 bp, whereas the point mutation rate showed corresponding valleys. This 200-bp periodicity was correlated with the chromatin structure, with nucleosome occupancy minimized at positions 0, +200, +400, and +600 bp. These data exemplify the potential for genetic activity (transcription) and chromatin structure to contribute to molding the DNA sequence on an evolutionary time scale.
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