Phosphoglycerate kinase pseudogenes in the tammar wallaby and other macropodid marsupials

D. W. Cooper*, E. A. Holland, K. Rudman, J. A. Donald, R. Zehavi-Feferman, L. M. McKenzie, A. H. Sinclair, J. A. Spencer, J. A M Graves, W. E. Poole

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Phosphoglycerate kinase (EC; PGK) exists in two forms in marsupials. PGK1 is an X-linked house-keeping enzyme, and PGK2 is a mainly testis-specific enzyme under autosomal control. We have used PGK1 probes derived from two closely related species of macropodid marsupials (kangaroos and wallabies) to demonstrate the existence of a large family of pseudogenes in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). Over 30 fragments are detectable after Taq digestion. We estimate that there are 25-30 copies per genome. Most are autosomally inherited and are apparently not closely linked. Only two restriction fragments that appeared to be sex linked could be detected. Varying degrees of hybridization of fragments to the probes suggest different levels of homology, and hence different ages of origin. The existence of two PGK1 homologous restriction fragments from the X and a large number from the autosomes was also demonstrated by somatic cell hybridization for two other macropodid species, the wallaroo (M. robustus) and the red kangaroo (M. rufus). These results are compared with those from human and mouse, and it is suggested that the propensity of PGK1 to form pseudogenes is an ancient (∼130 MYR BP) characteristic of mammals. The high level of polymorphism detected in the tammar makes these PGK1 probes potentially useful for measuring genetic variability in this species and other macropodids.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)531-537
    Number of pages7
    JournalMammalian Genome
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1994


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