Genomic DNA from a hemoglobin (Hb) Lepore Boston (delta 87 Gln beta 116 His) homozygote of Southern Italian origin has been studied in order to map the fusion point between the delta and beta genes. An Ava II restriction endonuclease recognition sequence, located 12 base pairs (bp) downstream from the 5′ end of the beta gene large intervening sequence, has been taken as marker of the beta-like portion of the fusion gene. This site was present even in the delta beta gene, allowing the localization of the crossover area to a 59-bp region extending from the first nucleotide of the Leu codon in position 88 to the 11th nucleotide of the large intervening sequence. The analysis of the DNA restriction polymorphisms in the gamma delta beta globin gene region provides evidence that a single mutational event originated the Lepore delta beta genes, at least in the Italian population.

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