pp 85-91 August 2007 Research Article
The Sox9 gene is one of the important transcription factors in the development of many tissues and organs, particularly in sex determination and chondrogenesis. We amplified the genomic DNA of Cyprinus carpio using degenerate primers, and found that there were two versions of Sox9 in this species: Sox9a and Sox9b, that differ in having an intron of different length (704 bp and 616 bp, respectively) in the conserved HMG box region that codes for identical amino acid sequences. We used a two-phase rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) for the isolation of full-length cDNA of Sox9b. Sequence analyses revealed a 2447-bp cDNA containing 233-bp 5′ untranslated region, a 927-bp 3′ untranslated region, including poly(A), and a 1287 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein of 428 amino acids. The HMG box of 79 amino acid motif was confirmed from positions 96–174. Sequence alignment showed that the identity of amino acids of Sox9 among ten animal species, including C. carpio, is 75%, indicating that the Sox9 gene is evolutionarily quite conserved. The expression level of Sox9b gene varied among several organs of adult C. carpio, with the level of expression being highest in the brain and testis.
pp 93-101 August 2007 Research Article
A cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) line of Brassica juncea was derived by repeated backcrossing of the somatic hybrid (Diplotaxis catholica + B. juncea) to B. juncea. The new CMS line is comparable to euplasmic lines for almost all characters, except for flowers which bear slender, needle-like anthers with aborted pollen. Detailed Southern analysis revealed two copies of coxI gene in the CMS line. One copy, coxI-1 is similar to the coxI gene of B. juncea, whereas the second copy, coxI-2 is present in a novel rearranged region. Northern analysis with eight mitochondrial gene probes showed altered transcript pattern only for the coxI gene. Two transcripts of 2.0 and 2.4 kb, respectively, were detected in the CMS line. The novel 2.4 kb transcript was present in floral bud tissue but absent in the leaf tissue. In plants where male sterility broke down under high temperature during the later part of the growing season, the 2.4 kb coxI transcript was absent, which suggested its association with the CMS. The two coxI genes from the CMS line showed two amino acid changes in the coding region. The novel coxI gene showed unique repeats in the 5′ region suggesting recombination of mitochondrial genomes of the two species. The possible role of the duplicated coxI gene in causing male sterility is discussed.
pp 103-109 August 2007 Research Article
There is a growing evidence, that antisense transcription might have a key role in a range of human diseases. Although predefined sense–antisense pairs were extensively studied, the antisense expression of the known sense genes is rarely investigated. We retrieved and correlated the expression of sense and antisense sequences of 1182 mouse transcripts to assess the prevalence and to find the characteristic pattern of antisense transcription. We contrasted three Affymetrix MGU74A version 1 mouse genome chips to six MGU74A version 2 chips. For these 1182 transcripts, the version 1 chips contain the antisense sequences of the transcripts presented on the version 2 chips. The original data was taken from the GEO database (GDS431 and GDS432). As the Affymetrix data are semiquantitative, the relative expression levels of antisense partners were analysed. We detected antisense transcription, although the average antisense expression is shifted towards smaller expression values (MGU74A version 1, 516; version 2, 1688). An inverse direct correlation between sense and antisense expression values could be observed at high expression values. At a very high relative expression—above 40,000—the Pearson correlation coefficient is getting closer to −1. Transcripts with high inverse expression ratio may be correlated to the investigated gene (major histocompatibility complex class II trans activator). The ratio of sense to antisense transcripts varied among different chromosomes; on chromosomes 14 and 1 the level of antisense expression was higher than that of sense. We conclude that antisense transcription is a common phenomenon in the mouse genome. The hypothesis of regulatory role of antisense transcripts is supported by the inverse antisense gene expression of highly expressed genes.
pp 111-123 August 2007 Research Article
The putative regulatory relationships between Antennapedia (Antp), spalt major (salm) and homothorax (hth) are tested with regard to the sensitive period of antenna-to-leg transformations. Although Antp expression repressed hth as predicted, contrary to expectations, hth did not show increased repression at higher Antp doses, whereas salm, a gene downstream of hth, did show such a dose response. Loss of hth allowed antenna-to-leg transformations but the relative timing of proximal–distal transformations was reversed, relative to transformations induced by ectopic Antp. Finally, overexpression of Hth was only partially able to rescue transformations induced by ectopic Antp. These results indicate that there may be additional molecules involved in antenna/leg identity and that spatial, temporal and dosage relationships are more subtle than suspected and must be part of a robust understanding of molecular network behaviour involved in determining appendage identity in Drosophila melanogaster.
pp 125-137 August 2007 Research Article
We studied nucleotide sequence variation at the gene coding for dopa decarboxylase (Ddc) in seven populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Strength and pattern of linkage disequilibrium are somewhat distinct in the extensively sampled Spanish and Raleigh populations. In the Spanish population, a few sites are in strong positive association, whereas a large number of sites in the Raleigh population are associated nonrandomly but the association is not strong. Linkage disequilibrium analysis shows presence of two groups of haplotypes in the populations, each of which is fairly diverged, suggesting epistasis or inversion polymorphism. There is evidence of two forms of natural selection acting on Ddc. The McDonald–Kreitman test indicates a deficit of fixed amino acid differences between D. melanogaster and D. simulans, which may be due to negative selection. An excess of derived alleles at high frequency, significant according to the 𝐻-test, is consistent with the effect of hitchhiking. The hitchhiking may have been caused by directional selection downstream of the locus studied, as suggested by a gradual decrease of the polymorphism-to-divergence ratio. Altogether, the Ddc locus exhibits a complicated pattern of variation apparently due to several evolutionary forces. Such a complex pattern may be a result of an unusually high density of functionally important genes.
pp 139-148 August 2007 Research Article
Autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) elements are the genetic determinants of replication origin function in yeasts. They can be easily identified as the plasmids containing them transform yeast cells at a high frequency. As the first step towards identifying all potential replication origins in a 73-kb region of the long arm of fission yeast chromosome II, we have mapped five new ARS elements using systematic subcloning and transformation assay. 2D analysis of one of the ARS plasmids that showed highest transformation frequency localized the replication origin activity within the cloned genomic DNA. All the new ARS elements are localized in two clusters in centromere proximal 40 kb of the region. The presence of at least six ARS elements, including the previously reported ars727, is suggestive of a higher origin density in this region than that predicted earlier using a computer based search.
pp 149-158 August 2007 Research Article
Mesosternal (MS) bristles in Drosophila are a pair of machrochaetae found at the sternal end of the sternopleural (STP) microchaetae, and are thought to be invariable. In a closely related drosophilid genus, Zaprionus, their number is four and, in contrast to Drosophila, they show interspecific and intraspecific variability. The genetic basis of MS bristle number variability was studied in Z. indianus, the only cosmopolitan species of the genus. The trait responded rapidly to selection and two lines were obtained, one lacking any bristles (0-0) and the other bearing the normal phenotype (2-2). Other symmetrical phenotypes, (1-1) and (3-3), could also be selected for, but with lesser success. By contrast, STP bristle number did not vary significantly between the two lines (0-0) and (2-2), revealing its genetic independence from MS bristle number. Reciprocal crosses between these two lines showed that MS bristle number is mainly influenced by a major gene on the X chromosome (i.e. F1 males always resembled their mothers) with codominant expression (i.e. heterozygous F1 females harboured an average phenotype of 2 bristles). However, trait penetrance was incomplete and backcrosses revealed that this variability was partly due to genetic modifiers, most likely autosomal. The canalization of MS bristle number was investigated under different temperatures, and the increased appearance of abnormal phenotypes mainly occurred at extreme temperatures. There was a bias, however, towards bristle loss, as shown by a liability (developmental map) analysis. Finally, when ancestral and introduced populations were compared, the latter were far less stable, suggesting that genetic bottlenecks may perturb the MS bristle number canalization system. MS bristle number, thus, appears to be an excellent model for investigating developmental canalization at both the quantitative and the molecular level.
pp 159-163 August 2007 Research Note
pp 165-168 August 2007 Research Note
pp 169-171 August 2007 Research Note
pp 173-175 August 2007 View Point
pp 177-186 August 2007 Special Feature
Volume 99, 2020
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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