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Gene Review

CYTB  -  cytochrome b

Microtus kikuchii

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High impact information on CYTB

  • The pseudogene (psi cytb) differed from its mitochondrial counterpart at 201 of 1143 sites (17.6%) and by four indels [1].
  • A full-length cytochrome b pseudogene was found in rodents; it has apparently been translocated from a mitochondrion to the nuclear genome in the subfamily Arvicolinae [1].
  • The phylogeography of the common vole (Microtus arvalis) was examined by analysing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation in 1044 base pairs (bp) of the cytochrome b (cytb) gene and in 322 bp of the control region (ctr) among 106 individuals from 58 locations [2].
  • The translation of 84 cytb DNA sequences produced 33 distinct proteins with relationships that differed from those of the DNA haplotypes, suggesting that the mtDNA lineages did not diverge in response to selection [2].
  • This and subsequent radiations discernible in the cytochrome b phylogeny, show the considerable potential of Microtus for analysis of historical and ecological determinants of speciation in small mammals [3].

Biological context of CYTB

  • A species-wide phylogeographical study of the root vole (Microtus oeconomus) was performed using the whole 1140 base pair mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b gene [4].
  • The molecular phylogeography of Microtus longicaudus was investigated with DNA sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene [5].
  • As an alternative approach FITCH and KITSCH computer programs were used to construct a phylogenetic tree of vole molecular evolution based on a pairwise comparison of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences and the divergence time of the species was determined [6].
  • In the case of rapid and recent evolutionary radiations, mitochondrial genes like cytochrome b (CYB) are often inefficient for resolving phylogenetic relationships [7].
  • Comparisons of parameter estimates for branch lengths, base composition, among sites rate heterogeneity, and GTR relative substitution rates indicate that CYB sequences consistently exhibit more heterogeneity among codon positions than GHR [7].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of CYTB

  • We assessed the phylogeographic pattern of field voles (Microtus agrestis) in southern and central Europe by sequence analysis of a 385-bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 74 specimens from 44 localities [8].


  1. A translocated mitochondrial cytochrome b pseudogene in voles (Rodentia: Microtus). DeWoody, J.A., Chesser, R.K., Baker, R.J. J. Mol. Evol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Mitochondrial gene diversity in the common vole Microtus arvalis shaped by historical divergence and local adaptations. Fink, S., Excoffier, L., Heckel, G. Mol. Ecol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Molecular phylogeny of the speciose vole genus Microtus (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Jaarola, M., Martínková, N., Gündüz, I., Brunhoff, C., Zima, J., Nadachowski, A., Amori, G., Bulatova, N.S., Chondropoulos, B., Fraguedakis-Tsolis, S., González-Esteban, J., José López-Fuster, M., Kandaurov, A.S., Kefelioğlu, H., da Luz Mathias, M., Villate, I., Searle, J.B. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. Holarctic phylogeography of the root vole (Microtus oeconomus): implications for late Quaternary biogeography of high latitudes. Brunhoff, C., Galbreath, K.E., Fedorov, V.B., Cook, J.A., Jaarola, M. Mol. Ecol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. Phylogeography of a post-glacial colonizer: Microtus longicaudus (Rodentia: muridae). Conroy, C.J., Cook, J.A. Mol. Ecol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Comparative chromosome and mitochondrial DNA analyses and phylogenetic relationships within common voles (Microtus, Arvicolidae). Mazurok, N.A., Rubtsova, N.V., Isaenko, A.A., Pavlova, M.E., Slobodyanyuk, S.Y., Nesterova, T.B., Zakian, S.M. Chromosome Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. The evolutionary radiation of Arvicolinae rodents (voles and lemmings): relative contribution of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA phylogenies. Galewski, T., Tilak, M.K., Sanchez, S., Chevret, P., Paradis, E., Douzery, E.J. BMC Evol. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. A highly divergent mitochondrial DNA lineage of Microtus agrestis in southern Europe. Jaarola, M., Searle, J.B. Heredity (2004) [Pubmed]
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