Agrobacterium tumefaciens harboring a Ti plasmid causes crown gall disease in dicot plants by transferring its T-DNA into plant chromosomes. Iron acquisition plays an important role for pathogenicity in animal pathogens and several phytopathogens and for growth in the rhizosphere and on plant surfaces. Under iron-limiting condition, bacteria produce various iron-chelating agents called siderophores. Agrobacterium strains have the diversity in producing siderophores and a certain strain produces a typical catechol-type siderophore, called agrobactin, although its biosynthesis genes have not been analyzed yet. Here we describe the cloning and characterization of a functional gene cluster involved in ferric iron uptake in A. tumefaciens strain MAFF301001. Four complete open reading frames (ORFs) were found in 5-kb region of a genomic library clone 1A3. We named these genes agb, after agrobactin. agbC, agbE, agbB and agbA genes were identified in this order, and narrow intergenic spaces suggested that these genes constitute an operon. Predicted agb gene products and their phylogenetic analysis showed sequence similarity with enzymes which are involved in ferric iron uptake in other bacteria. Southern hybridization analysis clearly indicated the location of agb genes on the linear chromosome in strain MAFF301001 but the complete lack in another A. tumefaciens strain C58. Mutation analysis of agbB revealed that it is essential for growth and production of catechol compounds in iron-limiting medium.
Recruitment of RNA polymerases to the cognate promoter is a key step for the transcription initiation of specific genes in eukaryotes. Recently, RNA polymerase I (pol I) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was shown to be recruited to the rDNA promoter via interaction between Rrn3p, a conserved transcription factor for rDNA, and A43, a subunit specific to pol I. The question of whether a similar interaction for pol I recruitment is conserved in other eukaryotes remains to be answered. We show here that Schizosaccharomyces pombe rpa21+ encodes a protein of apparent molecular mass 21 kD which shows 36% identity to the A43 subunit of pol I in S. cerevisiae, and that rpa21+ is essential for cell growth. To gain further insight into the functions of RPA21, we isolated a total of 22 temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants of rpa21+ and found that most of the substitutions causing the ts phenotype are clustered in the N-terminal half of RPA21. The ts mutants showed a markedly reduced amount of primary transcripts of rDNA immediately after temperature shift-up. Over-expression of S. pombe rrn3+ in the ts mutants suppressed the growth defect in an allele-specific manner. Therefore, we conclude that S. pombe RPA21 plays a functional role similar to that of A43 in S. cerevisiae and that the mechanism of recruitment of pol I to the rDNA promoter by the interaction of a specific pol I subunit with Rrn3p is evolutionarily conserved.
Arabidopsis halleri ssp. gemmifera has two cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase (PgiC) loci. A 48-bp deletion was observed in the junction of exon 17 and intron 17 for a locus (PgiC2). PCR-RFLP analysis using cDNA template did not detect the PgiC2 locus. Another locus (PgiC1) has common structure with A. thaliana and expressed normally. A phylogenetic tree of PgiC sequences revealed that duplication of the two loci in A. gemmifera occurred after species splitting of A. thaliana and A. gemmifera. More than 12 kb region encompassing PgiC was sequenced for both loci. In both PgiC1 and PgiC2, sequence homologous to A. thalianaPgiC 5' upstream region was not detected. A gene located on chromosome 4 of A. thaliana was detected in the 5' upstream of PgiC2. This result suggested that the microsyntheny around the PgiC region between A. thaliana and A. gemmifera is not established.
We analyzed DNA variation at the acidic chitinase (ChiA) locus of Arabis gemmifera and among its eight related species. Nucleotide diversity (π) of the entire locus in A. gemmifera was 0.0032, which was one third that of A. thaliana. In A. gemmifera, an excess of unique polymorphisms yielded significantly negative results with the tests of Tajima and Fu and Li. The McDonald and Kreitman test revealed that the ratio of nucleotide replacement to synonymous changes in A. gemmifera was significantly greater than those between A. gemmifera and A. glabra, A. gemmifera and A. griffithiana, A. gemmifera and A. korshinskyi, A. gemmifera and A. wallichii, and A. gemmifera and A. himalaica. These results indicated that the neutrality assumption, the equilibrium population assumption, or both, could not be applied to the ChiA locus of A. gemmifera. The small size and relative isolation of local subpopulations of A. gemmifera could explain the excess of unique polymorphisms and the high proportion of replacement changes. The specific sampling scheme of this study, where one strain each was sampled from each local subpopulation might also have led to an excess of singletons. Interspecific comparison among Arabidopsis, Arabis and Cardaminopsis species showed that Ka was always lower than Ks, providing evidence against the adaptive evolution of ChiA. However, Ka/Ks was greater between closely related species than between more distant related species. ChiA had a higher level of replacement divergence and a lower level of synonymous divergence compared than did Adh. We suggest that both the mutation rate at the nucleotide level and the selective constraints at the protein level are lower in ChiA than in Adh.
The genetic variation of Trigonobalanus verticillata, the most recently described genus of Fagaceae, was studied using chloroplast DNA sequences and AFLP fingerprinting. This species has a restricted distribution that is known to include seven localities in tropical lower montane forests in Malaysia and Indonesia. A total of 75 individuals were collected from Bario, Kinabalu, and Fraser's Hill in Malaysia. The sequences of rbcL, matK, and three non-coding regions (atpB-rbcL spacer, trnL intron, and trnL-trnF spacer) were determined for 19 individuals from these populations. We found a total of 30 nucleotide substitutions and four length variations, which allowed identification of three haplotypes characterizing each population. No substitutions were detected within populations, while the tandem repeats in the trnL -trnF spacer had a variable repeat number of a 20-bp motif only in Kinabalu. The differentiation of the populations inferred from the cpDNA molecular clock calibrated with paleontological data was estimated to be 8.3 MYA between Bario and Kinabalu, and 16.7 MYA between Fraser's Hill and the other populations. In AFLP analysis, four selective primer pairs yielded a total of 431 loci, of which 340 (78.9%) were polymorphic. The results showed relatively high gene diversity (HS = 0.153 and HT = 0.198) and nucleotide diversity (πS = 0.0132 and πT = 0.0168) both within and among the populations. Although the cpDNA data suggest that little or no gene flow occurred between the populations via seeds, the fixation index estimated from AFLP data (FST = 0.153 and NST = 0.214) implies that some gene flow occurs between populations, possibly through pollen transfer.
The action spectra of mating activity among the six species of the Drosophilamelanogaster species subgroup were compared to understand how light wavelength affects mating activity. The species fell into three groups with respect to the action spectrum of mating activity. We chose one representative species from each of the three types for detailed study: D. melanogaster, D. sechellia and D. yakuba. The mating activities were investigated under three different light intensities of three monochromatic lights stimulus. Each species showed a unique spectral and intensity response. To know the evolutionary meaning of the light wavelength dependency of mating activity, we superimposed the type of action spectrum of mating activity in these six species on a cladogram. Mating inhibition under UV was conserved in evolution among these species. Furthermore we clarified that D. melanogaster showed low mating activity under UV because males courted less under UV.
Codon usages are known to vary among vertebrates chiefly due to variations in isochore structure. Under the assumption that marked differences exist in isochore structure between warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals, the variations among vertebrates were previously attributed to an adaptation to homeothermy. However, based on data from a turtle species and a crocodile (Archosauromorpha), it was recently proposed that the common ancestors of mammals, birds and extent reptilies already had the "warm-blooded" isochore structure. We determined the nucleotide sequences of α-globin genes from two species of heterotherms, cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) and bat (Pipistrellus abramus), and three species of snakes (Lepidosauromorpha), Naja kaouthia from a tropical terrestrial habitat, Elaphe climacophora from a temperate terrestrial habitat, and Hydrophis melanocephalus from a tropical marine habitat. Our purposes were to assess the influence of differential body temperature patterns on codon usage and GC content at the third position of a codon (GC3), and to test the hypothesis concerning the phylogenetic position at which GC contents had increased in vertebrates. The results of principal component analysis (PCA) using the present data and data for other taxa from GenBank indicate that the primary difference in codon usage in globin genes among amniotes and other vertebrates lies in GC3. The codon usages (and GC3) in α-globin genes from two heterotherms and three snakes are similar to those in α-globin genes from warm-blooded vertebrates. These results refute the influence of body temperature pattern upon codon usages (and GC3) in α-globin genes, and support the hypothesis that the increase in GC content in the genome occurred in the common ancestor of amniotes.
Composite interval mapping (CIM) has been successfully applied to the detection of QTL in experimental animals and plants. However, practical analyses based on CIM have been reported mainly for populations derived from cross between inbred lines. There are few studies on QTL analyses with CIM in outbred populations. To evaluate the applicability of CIM to outbred populations is prerequisite for the fine mapping of QTL in industrial animals such as pig and chicken. Some markers are usually not fully informative in outbred populations. In application of CIM to outbred populations, the influence of inclusion of such uninformative markers used as covariates on the efficiency of CIM should be investigated. In this paper a least-squares method for CIM was formalized in an F2 population derived by crossing two outbred lines. The efficiencies of CIM were evaluated for outbred populations in comparison with simple interval mapping (SIM) for several cases of marker informativeness using simulations. By incorporating markers linked to a tested position as well as those unlinked, CIM showed a higher efficiency to separate two linked QTL over SIM. The efficiency of dissection was enhanced as the marker informativeness was increased. The power of CIM to detect an isolated QTL was improved by excluding markers linked to a tested position from covariates and higher than SIM regardless of marker informativeness. In conclusion, CIM is a useful procedure for the analysis of QTL in outbred populations even under low marker informativeness.