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One-Gene-One-Enzyme, Pseudogenes & Common Ancestry

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One-Gene-One-Enzyme, Pseudogenes & Common Ancestry. The following animation is intended to show: The one-gene-one-enzyme hypothesis

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one gene one enzyme pseudogenes common ancestry
One-Gene-One-Enzyme,Pseudogenes& Common Ancestry

The following animation is intended to show:

  • The one-gene-one-enzyme hypothesis
  • How a mutation in one gene (probably in some early pre-primate) prevented the production of Vitamin C, explaining why all primates today require Vitamin C in their diets (not so with other mammals).
  • The GULO pseudogene evidence for the common ancestry of primates.
what s a pseudogene
What’s a Pseudogene?

A pseudogene is a DNA sequence that is nearly identical to that of a functional gene, but contains one or more mutations, making it non-functional. Much of the intron material in the genomes of organisms is composed of recognizable pseudogenes.

pseudogenes and vitamin c



Gene 3

Gene 2

Gulo Enz

Enzyme 3

Enzyme 2

Pseudogenes and Vitamin C

In most mammals

Gene 1

Not so in primates…

Enzyme 1




Vitamin C


Vitamin C

Portion of Working GULO Gene in Rat:

Note Deletion

Matching GULO Pseudogenes in 4 Primates

  • Any one of thousands of possible mutations in the several genes for a biochemical pathway could explain why a particular species fails to make a particular enzyme.
  • What does this suggest about the fact that Vitamin C production is blocked in several similar species by the exact same mutation in the Gulo gene?
  • Maybe common ancestry?
note simplification
Note Simplification

In this presentation, three adjacent DNA segments (genes) were shown as necessary for Vitamin C to be formed.

In reality, there can be more genes (or fewer), and they may not be adjacent, or even in the same chromosome.

pseudogenes vitamin c common ancestry
Pseudogenes: Vitamin C& Common Ancestry

Animation by Larry FlammerENSI webmaster