Developmental genetics of the esterase isozymes of Fundulus heteroclitus

R. S. Holmes, G. S. Whitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ontogeny of the esterase isozymes of the teleost, Fundulus heteroclitus, has been investigated. One group of esterase isozymes is present at all stages of development, whereas other esterase isozymes only very gradually appear at later stages of development, or abruptly appear at such dramatic developmental events as hatching. The ontogeny of these isozyme patterns is interpreted as the expression of differential regulation of separate esterase genes. The general pattern of teleost esterase gene activation is similar to that reported for birds and mammals. Allelic variation was detected at two of the esterase loci. On the basis of electrophoretic mobility, substrate specificity, inhibitor specificity, genetic variation, and ontogeny of esterases, there appear to be at least 15 different esterase isozymes, which constitute 6-8 groups, each of which is probably encoded in one or more genetic loci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-480
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1970
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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