The allelic division of the Na+/K+-ATPase α-subunit gene was found in eggs of the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two PCR products of different lengths were detected from a genome in one embryo derived from a fertilized egg, although only one product in one embryo derived from an artificially activated egg by parthenogenesis was detected, indicating one copy of the gene in a haploid genome. One of the two PCR products from each fertilized egg was identical in size to the product from an artificially activated egg in the same batch. The other PCR product was the same in length as one of the products from the sperm with which the eggs were fertilized. These results indicate that recombination of the heteromeric alleles of the Na+/K+-ATPase α-subunit gene occurs in the sea urchin egg due to meiosis and fertilization. The sequencing of these products demonstrated that their exon sequences were identical and that the intron, inserted in the PCR products, generated polymorphism in length due to the frequency of the repeating 53 bp sequence and insertion/deletion of other two segments.
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