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An Experimental Investigation of the Unit Charge Model of Protein Polymorphism and Its Relation to the Esterase-5 Locus of DROSOPHILA PSEUDOOBSCURA, DROSOPHILA PERSIMILIS, and DROSOPHILA MIRANDA

The Genetics Society of America
Publication Date
  • Investigations
  • Biology


The relationship between charge changes and electrophoretic mobility changes is investigated experimentally. The charge of several proteins is altered by reaction with small molecules of known structure and the change in electrophoretic mobility is measured. The method of Ferguson plots is used to separate charge and shape components of mobility differences. The average effect of an amino acid charge change on the mobility of the esterase-5 1.00 allele of Drosophila pseudoobscura is estimated to be 0.046. This estimate is then used to apply the step model of Ohta and Kimura (1973) to electrophoretic mobility data for the esterase-5 locus of D. pseudoobscura and D. miranda. The variation in electrophoretic mobility at this locus was found to be in agreement with the predictions of the step model.

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