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The maintenance of transferrin polymorphism in pigeons

Frelinger, Jeffrey A. (1972) The maintenance of transferrin polymorphism in pigeons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 69 (2). pp. 326-329. ISSN 0027-8424.

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Transferrin, a nonheme iron-binding protein, is polymorphic in most vertebrate species that have been examined. In pigeons, it is controlled by an autosomal gene, with two known codominant alleles, TfA and TfB. The two alleles are found in nearly equal frequencies and the three genotypes are at Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in all populations studied. This report shows that ovotransferrins from heterozygous females inhibit microbial growth, by use of yeast as an assay organism, better than ovotransferrins from either of the homozygous types, or those from a mixture of homozygous types. Heterozygous females hatch a larger percentage of their eggs than homozygous females. This difference is probably accounted for by the transferrin effect. The failure of the mixture of the homozygous types to act like the heterozygous type calls into question the currently accepted structure of transferrin as a monomeric protein. The greater fecundity of heterozygous females can account for the maintenance of transferrin polymorphism in pigeons.

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Additional Information:© 1972 by the National Academy of Sciences. Communicated by Ray D. Owen, November 26, 1971. A preliminary report was presented at the Genetics Society of America meeting in August 1971. I thank Dr. Ray D. Owen for guidance and support during this work and Dr. H.K. Mitchell for suggesting morpholinopropane sulfonic acid buffer. This work was supported by Atomic Energy Commission contract AT(04-3)-767 and U.S. Public Health Service training grant GM 00086.
Subject Keywords:Saccharomyces cerevisiae; eggwhite
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:FREpnas72
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9765
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 Mar 2008
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:03

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