Mitochondrial DNA control region segment I sequences and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene polymorphism were examined in ethnic populations in the silk road region of China. Both the frequencies of the MC1R variants and the results of mtDNA data in this region presented intermediate values between those of Europe and East and Southeast Asia, which suggested extensive gene admixture in this area and was in general agreement with previous studies. Phylogenetic analysis of the ethnic populations in the Silk Road region that based on mtDNA data didn't show expected cluster pattern according to their ethnogenesis. We suspect that a high migration rate in female among these closely related populations and other three demographic events might account for it.
A Cor (cold-responsive) cDNA that belongs to the group-3 Lea (late embryogenesis abundant)/Rab (responsive to abscisic acid, ABA) family was isolated from a winter-hardy cultivar of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Screening of a cold-acclimated cDNA library was performed using an ABA- and other stress-responsive barley cDNA clone, Hva1, as a probe. A wheat cDNA clone (designated as Wrab19) putatively encoded a basic (pI=10.3) and hydrophobic protein with 179 amino acids. The deduced protein showed characteristics of the group-3 LEA/RAB protein family. In contrast to the single copy barley Hva1, Wrab19 belonged to a multigene family in the hexaploid wheat genome and six loci were assigned to the homoeologous group 1 chromosomes. Using Wrab19 as a probe, four homologous cDNAs (designated as Wrab17) were isolated that encoded acidic (pI=4.6-4.7) and hydrophobic proteins, all with 166 amino acids. The deduced proteins showed high homology (a mean of 84% identity) with a barley gibberellic acid (GA3)-inducible protein, ES2A, and several other group-3 LEA/RAB proteins. Wrab17 was considered to be a three-copy gene and each copy was assigned to chromosome 5A, 4B or 4D of hexaploid wheat. Transcripts of both Wrab19 and Wrab17 accumulated within 1 day of cold acclimation at 4°C. They were responsive to ABA and/or GA3, but showed some cultivar differences in their response to these plant hormones. We conclude that the two genes are new members of the group-3 Lea/Rab-related Cor gene family in wheat.
Aegilops caudata L. is a diploid wild relative of wheat distributed over the northeastern Mediterranean from Greece to northern Iraq. To elucidate the geographical differentiation pattern, 35 accessions derived from the entire distribution area were crossed with four Tester strains. Pollen fertility in the F1 hybrids varied from 0 to 96.3% among cross combinations, closely correlating with the geographical regions where the parental accessions were collected. Based on the intraspecific hybrid sterility, the present distribution area of Ae. caudata was divided into two geographical regions effectively isolated by the mountainous region lying between West Anatolia and Central Anatolia. The western region is composed of Greece and West Anatolia, while the eastern region consists of Central Anatolia, South Anatolia, East Anatolia and northern Iraq. The present results and the facts from recent palaeopalynological works suggest that during the maximum glacial period from 18000 BP to 16000 BP, Ae. caudata occurred in the two isolated regions, i.e., the region surrounding the Aegean Sea and the western Levant or some sheltered habitats in the East Taurus/Zagros mountains arc, and that it migrated into Central and East Anatolia from the latter regions as the climate became warmer. Furthermore, it is also suggested that the Levant populations now occur in the eastern region of the distribution, while those occurring in the Aegean Sea region during the last glacial period now occupy the western region of the distribution.
SINE-R elements constitute a class of retroposons derived from the long terminal repeat (LTR) of the human endogenous retrovirus HERV-K family that are present in hominoid primates and active in the human genome. In an investigation of the X chromosome, we identified twenty-five SINE-R elements with between 89.6 and 97.7% homology with the SINE-R.C2 element that is human specific, originally identified in the gene for the C2 component of complement. SINE-R.C2 and a sequence HS307 that we previously identified in a region of Xq21.3 that has a recently created homology with a 4 Mb block in Yp11.2 are amongst the group of elements that have diverged furthest from the parent HERV-K10 sequence. The sequences on the X chromosome resemble those that we previously described on chromosomes 7 and 17 and the Y chromosome, with a similar range of variation. Phylogenetic analysis from the retroposon family including those of African great apes using the neighbor-joining method suggests that the SINE-R retroposon family have evolved independently during primate evolution. Further investigation of SINE-R elements on the sex chromosomes, particularly in recently created regions of X-Y homology, may cast light on the timing of the retroposition process and its possible relevance to recent evolutionary change.
Seeds of the common ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) germinate in distinct sub-populations over a time period of more than 4 weeks following imbibition. Distinguishing early (E)- and late (L)-germinating seeds is the expression of a homologue of the transcriptional activator VP1. The deduced amino acid sequence of ice plant VP1 (MVP1) is 39% identical (50% similar) to the sequence of the Arabidopsis VP1 homologue, ABI3. The amount of Mvp1 mRNA, transcribed from a single gene, is different in E and L seeds after water uptake. The levels of the Mvp1 transcripts are very low in immature and mature seeds and they increased during 6 days of imbibition. This expression profile of Mvp1 is different from known Vp1/ABI3-like genes in other plants. Cycloheximide (at 35 μM) abolishes the increase of Mvp1, and L seeds are turned into E seeds, which develop normally when the inhibitor is applied for a short time during imbibition. E seeds treated for the same time period are developmentally impaired and show no radicle elongation. We suggest that the presence and late disappearance of Mvp1 in L seeds is responsible for dormancy and after-ripening of late-germinating ice plant seeds.
Heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G-proteins) play important roles in signal transduction pathways in eukaryotic cells. Through differential screening of a hairy root cDNA library of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) against transcripts from non-root tissues of normal cuttings, we obtained a partial cDNA clone that showed abundant expression and high homology to the α subunit gene of plant G-protein. After RACE-PCR, a full-length cDNA clone was obtained, which was 1,677-bp in length and contained an open reading frame encoding a protein of 384 amino acids. A cDNA clone encoding a β subunit of G-protein was also isolated from the same cDNA library based on PCR amplification and library screening. The clone was 1,600-bp in length and contained an open reading frame encoding 377 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequences of these clones showed high homology (75.5 to 99.8% amino acid identity) with α and β subunits of other plant G-proteins. Genomic Southern blot analysis showed that the amphidiploid tobacco genome possessed two major copies of both α and β subunit genes and some minor homologous copies. Northern blot analysis showed that the transcript of α subunit gene was abundant in the root tissues, particularly in the hairy root tissues. In contrast, the level of expression of the β subunit gene was equivalent in all the tissues studied. Possible function of tobacco G-protein was discussed.