Mutational inactivation of both nonA and nonB genes are required for the permissiveness of Bacillus subtilis Marburg cells to infection by phage SP10. By transformational analysis of the nonA strain with DNAs from gently lysed protoplasts carrying the integrative plasmid pMUTIN (em) insertions in every 20 kb along the whole chromosome, we have identified the nonA to be the cured state of endogenous prophage SPβ. Direct DNA sequencing, on the other hand, revealed one nonsense mutation of nonB in ydiR, which is a component gene of the intrinsic restriction system BsuMR of B.subtilis Marburg. Introduction of the wild type ydiR into the nonB strain at aprE locus resulted in complementation of nonB. Furthermore, as the SP10 genome was found to possess multiple BsuM target sites, it is considered that SP10 can infect and multiply in B.subtilis cells, which are SPβ free and possess a defective BsuMR restriction system.
DNA microarrays with unmodified oligonucleotide probes are a cost-effective and high-performance alternative to cDNA microarrays. We searched every gene in the genome of the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 for 45-mer oligonucleotide probes with optimal nucleotide sequences, and found such probes in 90% of the genes. Using the probes, we constructed a microarray that represented 2,397 genes (95% of total genes). We detected only low signals in the negative control probes whose nucleotide sequences are not contained in the T. elongatus genome, demonstrating that specific hybridization occurred. To evaluate the reliability of the measurements obtained by the oligonucleotide microarray, we performed microarray experiments using RNA samples from two different time points of circadianly synchronized cultures, LL2 (early sub-jective day) and LL14 (early subjective night). Measurements obtained from the two independent microarray hybridizations were highly concordant (correlation coefficient [r] > 0.8). Northern blot analyses of 20 genes confirmed that expression changes detected by the microarrays were correct (r = 0.832). We identified 143 candidate clock-controlled genes whose expression levels at LL2 and LL14 were significantly different. Expression of 69 of them was enhanced at LL14 while expression of the other 74 was enhanced at LL2. The physiological functions of the genes were diverse and included metabolism, translation, transcription, membrane transport, DNA replication and repair, and cell growth and death.
To estimate the extent of genetic variation at the DNA level, the histone 3 (H3) genes were sequenced from single individual each from the three cryptic species recognized based on allozyme analyses, YFS, J and T types of Conocephalum conicum and two closely related species, C. japonicum and Marchantia polymorpha. Although the H3 genes are known to be highly conserved, the nucleotide diversities were 0.128, 0.109, 0.108, 0.049 and 0.034. These values are 30 to 100 times higher than that in Drosophila melanogaster (0.001). Besides, there were considerable differences in the position, length and number of introns among the loci of H3 genes. The observed high level of nucleotide diversities was explained by the fixation of many random mutations, and non-concerted evolution that resulted from low rates of unequal crossing-over and gene conversion probably due to the dispersed structure of H3 genes on genome in this species. The non-concerted evolutionary pattern was established by the analysis of phylogenetic tree and divergence rates. This study confirmed previous results suggesting that natural populations of liverwort maintains high extent of variation at DNA level.
We used a complete set of Allium fistulosum – shallot (A. cepa Aggregatum group) monosomic addition lines (FF+1A – FF+8A) to identify shallot chromosomes affecting the production of sugars. In the alien addition lines grown over two years in an experimental field at Yamaguchi University (34°N, 131°E), shallot chromosomes 2A and 8A altered sugar contents in leaf-bunching onion (A. fistulosum). Except for FF+2A, every monosomic addition accumulated non-reducing sugars in winter leaf blades. FF+8A caused an increase in the amounts of non-reducing sugars in the winter. FF+2A hardly produced non-reducing sugar throughout the two-year study. These results indicated that genes related to non-reducing sugar metabolism are located on the 2A and 8A chromosomes. The results of regression analyses using 2002 data on A. fistulosum and the monosomic addition set revealed a correlation (r = 0.63 ± 0.07; mean ± SE., n = 9) between reducing sugar and monosaccharide (Glc+Fru) contents but no correlation between non-reducing sugar and sucrose contents. This result indicates the existence of other polysaccharides (e.g., scorodose) as non-reducing sugars in the leaf blade.
Comparative sequence analysis among closely related species is essential for investigating the evolution of non-coding sequences, which evolve more rapidly than protein-coding sequences. We sequenced the cytogenetic map 56F10-16, a gene-dense region of D. simulans and D. sechellia, closely related species to D. melanogaster. About 57 kb of the genomic sequences containing 19 genes were annotated from each species according to the corresponding region of the D. melanogaster genome. The order and orientation of genes were perfectly conserved among the three species, and no transposable elements were found. The rate of nucleotide substitutions in the non-coding sequences was lower than that at the fourfold-degenerate sites, implying functional constraints in the non-coding regions. The sequence information from three closely related species, allowed us to estimate the insertions and the deletions that may have occurred in the lineages of D. simulans and D. sechellia using the D. melanogaster sequence as an outgroup. The number of deletions was twice that of insertions for the introns of D. simulans. More remarkably, the deletion outnumbered insertions by 7.5 times for the intergenic sequences of D. sechellia. These results suggest that the non-coding sequences have been shortened by deletion biases. However, the deletion bias was lower than that previously estimated for pseudogenes, suggesting that the non-coding sequences are already rich in functional elements, possibly involved in the regulation of gene expression including transcription and pre-mRNA processing. These features of non-coding sequences may be common to other gene-dense regions contributing to the compactness of the Drosophila genome.
The genus Saccharum consists of two wild and four cultivated species. Novel interspersed sequences were isolated from cultivated sugar cane S. officinarum. These sequences were accumulated in all four cultivated species and their wild ancestral species S. robustum, but were not detected in the other wild species S. spontaneum and the relative Erianthus arundinaceus. The species-specific accumulation of interspersed sequences would correlate to the domestication of sugar canes.