Repetitive genomic sequences might have various structural features and properties distinct from those of the known transposable elements (TE). Here, the content and properties of the repetitive sequences present in a 200-kb region around the rice waxy locus were analyzed using the available rice genomic database. In our previous Southern blotting analysis, 70% of the segments in this region showed smeared patterns, but according to the present database analysis, the proportion of repetitive sequences in this region was only 15%. The repetitive segments in this 200-kb region comprised 75 repetitive sequences that we classified into 46 subfamilies: 21 subfamilies were known TEs or repetitive sequences and 25 subfamilies consisted of newly identified TEs or novel types of repetitive sequences. The region contains no long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposable elements, but miniature inverted repeat transposable elements (MITEs) constituted a major class among the elements identified. These MITEs showed remarkable structural divergence: 12 elements were found to be new members of known MITE superfamilies, while five elements had novel terminal structures, and did not belong to any known TE families. Interestingly, about 10% of the repetitive sequences, including virus-like sequences did not have any of the usual characteristics of TEs, suggesting that a certain proportion of repetitive sequences that might not share the transpositional mechanisms of known elements are dispersed in the compact rice genome.
Mitochondrial alternative oxidase (AOX) is the terminal oxidase responsible for cyanide-insensitive and salicylhydroxamic acid-sensitive respiration. We have isolated two non-homoeologous genes (Waox1a and Waox1c) encoding AOX proteins from common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). These two genes were orthologous to rice AOX1a and AOX1c, and their exon/intron structure was conserved, as it is in most other plant AOX genes. Southern blot analysis indicated that both Waox1a and Waox1c were located in at least three homoeologous loci and that additional AOX genes with lower homology were present in the genome of common wheat. The Waox1a and Waox1c loci were respectively assigned to the homoeologous group 2 and 6 chromosomes. The steady-state level of Waox1a and Waox1c transcripts increased under cold stress, while only that of Waox1a was increased by cyanide treatment.
Met-overaccumulating mutants provide a powerful genetic tool for examining both the regulation of the Met biosynthetic pathway and in vivo developmental responses of gene expression to altered Met levels. We have previously reported the identification of two Arabidopsis thaliana Met over-accumulation (mto) mutants, mto1-1 and mto2-1, that carry mutations in the genes encoding cystathionine γ-synthase (CGS) and threonine synthase (TS), respectively. A third mutant, mto3-1, has recently been reported to carry a mutation in the gene encoding S-adenosylmethionine synthetase 3 (SAMS3). Here, we report the isolation of a new ethionine-resistant A. thaliana mutant that over-accumulates soluble Met approximately 20-fold in young rosettes. The causal mutation was determined to be a single, recessive mutation that was mapped to chromosome 3. Sequence analysis identified a single nucleotide change in the gene encoding SAMS3 that was distinct from the mto3-1 mutation and altered the amino acid sequence of the enzyme active site. This mutation was therefore referred to as mto3-2. Although Met over-accumulation in the mto3-2 mutant was similar to that in the mto2-1 mutant, CGS mRNA levels did not respond to the mto3-2 mutation and were similar to that in equivalent wild-type plants.
Sexual isolation is one of the most important mechanisms that may lead to speciation. Drosophila ananassae and D. pallidosa are useful for the study of sexual isolation, because of their sympatric distribution and no postmating isolation between them. Courtship songs are considered to play a crucial role in sexual isolation between D. ananassae and D. pallidosa. We recorded and analyzed male courtship songs of D. ananassae and D. pallidosa for eight and four geographical strains, respectively. Courtship behaviors of the two species were consistent with those previously described, however, male's middle leg shaking, which had not before been described, was observed in both species. Males sing by wing vibration only during courtship. Their song oscillograms were distinct between species, but those of conspecific strains were very similar, in spite of their different geographical derivation. We found species-specificity in burst length, pulse length, cycle number in a pulse, and frequency spectra of bursts; these results suggest that these song parameters may play a role in mate recognition that enforces their sexual isolation. The specific values of interpulse interval, cycle number in a pulse and intrapulse frequency were involved with the determination of specificity in frequency spectra of bursts. We discussed the possibility that the specific frequency spectra of bursts are recognized by females as the species-specific signal rather than each parameter individually.
We determined mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and cytochrome b (cyt b) gene sequences in three leporid species of Japan, the Amami rabbit Pentalagus furnessi from the Ryukyu Islands, the Japanese hare Lepus brachyurus from Honshu, and a Japanese form of the mountain hare Lepus timidus ainu from Hokkaido. We compared the sequences with those of other taxa of leporids available in databases. Phylogenetic trees of the 12S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the lineage of P. furnessi diversified during the generic radiation of the leporids at an ancient time, which was estimated to have been the middle Miocene. Cyt-b gene trees revealed that the lineage of L. brachyurus branched off at an early stage in the speciation of Lepus, probably at the beginning of the Pliocene. The cyt b sequences of L. t. ainu were somewhat distinct from those of continental conspecific populations; this lineage divergence is likely to have occurred during the middle or late Pleistocene. The results show that the three regions of the Japanese archipelago, Ryukyu, Honshu-Shikoku-Kyushu, and Hokkaido, now preserve their own leporid taxa, each with a different extent of genetic endemicity. It is possible that the zoogeographic traits of the Japanese leporids are a consequence of the evolutionary dynamics of leporids in East Asia, in that the radiation centers of leporids are likely to have shifted from tropical, through temperate, to arctic zones.
Dubin-Johnson syndrome (DJS) is an inherited disorder characterized by conjugated hyperbilirubinemia and is caused by mutations of the canalicular multispecific organic anion transporter (cMOAT)/ multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2)/ ATP-binding cassette, sub-family C, member 2 (ABCC2) gene. The ABCC2 protein is located in the apical membrane of hepatocytes, and known mutations of this gene cause impaired maturation and trafficking of the mutated protein from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi complex. We have characterized the ABCC2 gene in a Japanese DJS patient by polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing, resulting in the identification of two mutations. One mutation, 1815+2 (T>A) in the splice donor site of intron 13, has already been reported. However, we have identified a novel nonsense mutation consisting of a (C>T) transition at nucleotide 3928 in exon 28.
Recently, a variety of mixed linear models have been proposed for marker-assisted prediction of the effects of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in outbred populations of animals. One of them addresses the effects of a cluster of linked QTLs, or those of a particular chromosomal segment, marked by DNA marker(s) and requires that the inverse of the corresponding gametic relationship matrix whose elements are the conditional expected values of the identity-by-descent (IBD) proportions between gametes for individuals be evaluated. Here, for a model of this type, utilizing the property of the IBD set and using the information on the joint gametogenesis processes at the flanking marker loci, we present a recursive method to systematically calculate the elements of the gametic relationship matrix and its inverse. A numerical example is given to illustrate the proposed computing procedure.
We cloned and characterized Ty1-copia group retrotransposons in persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.). Genomic DNA or methyl jasmonate (MJA)-treated cDNA were used as templates to amplify the reverse transcriptase region of Ty1-copia group retrotransposons. About 280 bp fragments were amplified and cloned, and 97 clones were sequenced. Forty-nine clones included frameshift or the stop codon, or both. Among 48 clones containing complete reading frames, 42 clones had unique nucleotide sequences. Alignment and phylogenetic analysis of putative amino acid sequences in the 42 clones indicated that these clones (named Tdk; retroTransposon in Diospyros kaki) fell into seven subgroups and six ungrouped sequences, indicating high sequence heterogeneity in Tdk clones. Phylogenetic analysis comparing unrelated plant species shows that some Tdk clones are more closely related to Ty1-copia group retrotransposons in the orders Solanales and Sapindales rather than to other Tdk clones. Southern blot analysis using Tdk2B, Tdk4c, Tdk6Ac, Tdk12K and Tdk13G clones as probes showed that persimmon and its related species, D. lotus, D. lotus var. glabba, D. oleifera, D. rhombifolia and D. virginiana, contained multiple Tdk-like sequences, indicating that homologous elements exist in other Diospyros species.