CASE STUDY IN MOLECULAR EVOLUTION
Written by Harold B. White, Sept 1995, revised July 2000
C-667 BIOCHEMICAL EVOLUTION, FALL 2013
(Grey-headed flying fox)
Sometimes a comparison of amino acid sequences of orthologous proteins from the groups involved can resolve phylogenetic relationships. The amino acid sequences of the alpha- and beta-globin subunits of hemoglobin from representative micro- and megachiropterans have been determined and compared to those from human (12, 12a, 12b).
Focus Question: If you had the amino acid sequences of the both subunits of hemoglobin from the two types of bats and from humans, how would you go about comparing them? How would you use that information to deduce the phylogenetic relationships among the three organisms? How would you represent the three (or four) possible phylogenies for humans and the two types of bats?
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Using Hemoglobin to Track Blood Lines
Page 3: Reliability of Molecular Phylogenies