Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version

August 1987


Published in Molecular Biology and Evolution 4:266-285. Copyright 1987 University of Chicago Press. Used by permission.


Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) allozymes were isolated from the wing-polymorphic water strider, Lirnnoporus canaliculatus, and were characterized biochemically with respect to temperature-dependent kinetic and thermostability properties. At higher temperatures, the allozymes exhibited significant differences in Michaelis constant (Km) values for substrates of both the forward and reverse reaction directions. Results were consistent with expectations of adaptive kinetic differentiation based on the latitudinal variation of PGI allele frequencies. PGI genotypes also differed with regard to maximal velocity (Vmax)/Km ratios at higher temperatures. These differences were due primarily, if not exclusively, to allozyme-dependent variation in Km values. The allozymes also exhibited dramatic differences in thermostability. However, no thermostability differences were observed when the substrate analogue 6-phosphogluconate was present in the incubation medium. The data from this study, together with data from Mytilus edulis and Metridium senile on temperature-dependent kinetic variation among PGI allozymes, form a consistent picture of natural selection influencing the clinal variation of alleles at this locus in these three phylogenetically distant organisms. More definitive support of this hypothesis, however, must await additional studies on the physiological effects of the allozymic variation as well as direct measurements of fitness differences among the enzyme genotypes.

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