Is higher-order structure conserved in eukaryotic ribosomal DNA intergenic spacers?

Gerald D. Baldridge, Mark Wm Dalton, Ann M. Fallon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Computer-based structural analysis of the ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer (IGS) from the mosquito Aedes albopictus revealed a potential to form strong and extensive secondary structures throughout a 4.7-kilobase (kb) region. The predicted stability of secondary structures was particularly high within a 3.15-kb region containing 17 tandem 201 base-pair subrepeats. Similarly strong secondary structure potential was also found when IGS subrepeats were analyzed from 17 phylogenetically diverse eukaryotes, including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Conservation of higher-order structure potential in the IGS region of ribosomal DNA may reflect evolutionary and functional constraints on chromatin organization, transcriptional regulation of the ribosomal RNA genes, and/or transcript processing and stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-523
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • Chromatin organization
  • Intergenic spacer
  • Mosquito
  • Ribosomal RNA
  • Secondary structure


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