We have isolated an alpha satellite DNA clone, pG3.9, from gorilla DNA. Fluorescence in situ hybridization on banded chromosomes under high stringency conditions revealed that pG3.9 identifies homologous sequences at the centromeric region of ten gorilla chromosomes, and, with few exceptions, also recognizes the homologous chromosomes in human. A pG3.9-like alphoid DNA is present on a larger number of orangutan chromosomes, but, in contrast, is present on only tow chromosomes in the chimpanzee. These results show that the chromosomal subsets of related alpha satellite DNA sequences may undergo different patterns of evolution.
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