• LEI ZHANG

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • The complete mitochondrial genome of the yellow-browed bunting, Emberiza chrysophrys (Passeriformes: Emberizidae), and phylogenetic relationships within the genus Emberiza

      Qiongqiong Ren Jian Yuan Liqian Ren Liqin Zhang Lei Zhang Lan Jiang Dongsheng Chen Xianzhao Kan Baowei Zhang

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      Mitochondrial genomes have proved to be powerful tools in resolving phylogenetic relationships. Emberiza chrysophrys (least concern species: IUCN 2013) is a passerine bird in the bunting family, Emberizidae. The complete mitochondrial genome of E. chrysophrys was sequenced. This circular mitochondrial genome was 16,803 bp in length, with an A+T content of 52.26%, containing 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), two rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and a putative control region (CR). The CR of E. chrysophrys was divided into three conserved domains. Six conserved sequence boxes in the central conserved domain II were identified as F, E, D, C, b and B. An obvious positive AT-skew and negative GC-skew bias were found for all 28 genes encoded by the H strand, whereas it was the reverse in the remaining nine genes encoded by the L strand. Remarkable rate heterogeneity was present in the mitochondrial genome of E. chrysophrys. Notably, unusual slow rate of evolution in the mitochondrial CR of E. chrysophrys was detected, which is rarely seen in other birds. Phylogenetic analyses were carried out based on 13 PCGs that showed E. pusilla was the sister group of E. rustica, and the monophyly of Emberiza was established.

    • Identification of QTL for maize grain yield and kernel-related traits

      CONG YANG LEI ZHANG AIMIN JIA TINGZHAO RONG

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      Grain yield (GY) is one of the most important and complex quantitative traits in maize (Zea maysL.) breeding practice.Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for GY and three kernel-related traits were detected in a set of recombinant inbred lines (RILs).One hundred and seven simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and 168 insertion/deletion polymorphism markers (Indels) were usedto genotype RILs. Eight QTLs were found to be associated with four yield-related traits: GY, 100-kernel weight (HKW),10-kernel length (KL), and 10-kernel length width (KW). Each QTL explained between 5.96 (qKL2-1) and 13.05 (qKL1-1)per cent of the phenotypic variance. Notably, one common QTL, located at the marker interval betweenbnlg1893andchr2-236477(chromosomal bin 2.09) simultaneously controlled GY and HKW; another common QTL, at bin 2.03 was simulta-neously responsible for HKW and KW. Of the QTLs identified, only one pair of significant epistatic interaction involved inchromosomal region at bin 2.03 was detected for HKW; no significant QTL

      ×environment interactions were observed. Theseresults provide the common QTLs and for marker-assisted breeding

    • The association study of nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate identified risk variants of the GLI3 gene in a Chinese population

      YIRUI WANG YIMIN SUN YONGQING HUANG YONGCHU PAN BING SHI JIAN MA LAN MA FEIFEI LAN YUXI ZHOU JIAYU SHI JINFANG ZHU HONGBING JIANG LEI ZHANG XUE XIAO MIN JIANG AIHUA YIN LILI YU LIN WANG JING CHENG YINXUE YANG

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      Nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL/P) is a common birth defect due to abnormal orofacial development. Previous studies report abnormal sonic hedgehog (SHH) signalling activity during NSCL/P pathogenesis and propose several genes in the SHH pathway as candidate risk genes. As such, we focussed on GLI3, a downstream modulator of the SHH pathway. In the present study,we genotyped 34 tag SNPs covering GLI3 and performed association analysis with NSCL/P in 504 cases and 455 healthy controls. Our preliminary results identified risk variants of GLI3 that are associated with NSCL/P susceptibility in a Chinese population. In particular, rs3801161 and its haplotypes rs3801161–rs7785287 displayed significant association with NSCL/Pand survived Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. The robustness of the association between GLI3 and NSCL/P is worth further examination in the future across different populations.

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