Closely related (confamilial) genera often retain large chromosomal tracts in which gene order is colinear, punctuated by structural mutations such as inversions and translocations 1. To explore the possibility that conservation of gene order might extrapolate to more distantly related taxa, we first estimated an average structural mutation rate. Nine pairs of taxa, for which there exist both comparative genetic maps and plausible estimates of divergence time, showed an average of0.14 (±0.06) structural mutations per chromosome per million years of divergence (Myr; Table 1). This value is offered as a first approximation, acknowledging that refined comparative data and/or divergence estimates may impel revision.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jonathan_wendel/29/