Investigations were carried out to determine whether both DNA strands involved in Escherichia coli chromosomal DNA replication are replicated with similar accuracy. Experiments consisted of measuring the forward mutation rate from tonB+ to tonB– in pairs of polA deficient strains in which the chromosomal target gene tonB was oriented in the two possible directions relative to the origin of replication, oriC. Within these pairs, the tonB sequence would be subjected to leading strand replication in one orientation and to lagging strand replication in the other. The most common tonB mutations in the polA1 strain were deletions followed by frameshifts. Among the deletions, a strong hotspot site with a 13-base deletion in the polA1 strains accounted for 18 of the 33 deletions in the one orientation, and 31 of the 58 deletions in the other. The results suggested that the two strands were replicated with equal or similar accuracy for deletion formation.
Annotation of rRNA genes has been incomplete in Agrobacterium species although a number of Agrobacterial rDNA fragments have been sequenced. In this study, precise characterization of rRNA operons (rrn) was carried out in two biovar 1 strains, C58 and MAFF301001. Complete DNA sequencing of four rrns in MAFF301001 indicated that each operon codes for 16S, 23S and 5S rRNA as well as three tRNAs, trnIle, trnAla and trnMet. The genes and 16S-23S ITS of a given locus were exactly identical with those in the other three loci, except for a T-base loss in the 23S rRNA gene of rrnA and in the 5S rRNA gene of rrnB. Comparison with the four C58 rDNAs available in the DNA database indicated extensive sequence and size variations in the 23S rRNA gene, suggesting the presence of an intervening sequence (IVS). Biochemical RNA analysis, including Northern hybridization and 5’ end mapping, in MAFF301001 revealed 2886-base and 2571-base precursors, two 1.3-kb major fragments, a 150-base fragment and removal of an IVS for 23S rRNA. We confirmed similar biochemical characteristics in the C58 strain. The features of rDNA detected here enable correction of previously reported information about Agrobacterial rRNAs and rRNA genes and should be useful for phylogenetic considerations.
Circadian rhythm is a self-sustaining oscillation whose period length coincides with the 24-hour day-night cycle. A powerful tool for circadian clock research is the real-time automated bioluminescence monitoring system in which a promoter region of a clock-controlled gene is fused to a luciferase reporter gene and rhythmic regulation of the promoter activity is monitored as bioluminescence. In the present study, we greatly improved the bioluminescence reporter system in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. We fused an 805-bp promoter region of the dnaK gene seamlessly to the luxA coding sequence and inte-grated the PdnaK::luxAB fusion gene into a specific intergenic region of the Syn-echocystis genome (targeting site 1). The resulting new reporter strain, PdnaK::luxAB(–), showed 12 times the bioluminescence intensity of the standard reporter strain, CFC2. Furthermore, we generated strain PdnaK::luxAB(+), in which the PdnaK::luxAB fusion gene and the selection-marker spectinomycin resistance gene are transcribed in opposite directions. The PdnaK::luxAB(+) strain showed 19 times the bioluminescence intensity of strain CFC2. The procedures used to increase the bioluminescence intensity are especially useful for bioluminescence monitoring of genes with low promoter activity. In addition, these reporter constructs facilitate bioluminescence monitoring of any gene because the promoter fragments they contain can easily be replaced by digestion with unique restriction enzymes. They would therefore contribute to a genome-wide analysis of gene expression in Synechocystis.
A cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase pathway has been shown to reg-ulate growth, morphogenesis and virulence in filamentous fungi. However, the precise mechanisms of regulation through the pathway remain poorly understood. In Neurospora crassa, the cr-1 adenylate cyclase mutant exhibits colonial growth with short aerial hyphae bearing conidia, and the mcb mutant, a mutant of the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), shows the loss of growth polarity at the restrictive temperature. In the present study, we isolated mutants of the catalytic subunit of the PKA gene pkac-1 through the process of repeat-induced point mutation (RIP). PKA activity of the mutants obtained through RIP was undetectable. The genome sequence predicts two distinct catalytic subunit genes of PKA, named pkac-1 (NCU06240.1, AAF75276) and pkac-2 (NCU00682.1), as is the case in most filamentous fungi. The results sug-gest that PKAC-1 works as the major PKA in N. crassa. The phenotype of the pkac-1 mutants included colonial growth, short aerial hyphae, premature conidiation on solid medium, inappropriate conidiation in submerged culture, and increased thermotolerance. This phenotype of pkac-1 mutants resembled to that of cr-1 mutants, except that the addition of cAMP did not rescue the abnormal morphology of pkac-1 mutants. The loss of growth polarity at the restrictive temperature in the mcb mutant was suppressed by pkac-1 mutation. These results suggest that the signal transduction pathway mediated by PKAC-1 plays an important role in regulation of aerial hyphae formation, conidiation, and hyphal growth with polarity.
By optimizing the concentration and time of treatment with hydroxyurea (HU), a DNA synthesis inhibitor, and trifluralin, a microtubule inhibitor, a highly effective (over 60%) cell cycle synchronization method for rye and barley meristem cells was developed. Chromosome suspensions containing highly purified and morphologically intact rye and barley chromosomes were prepared from the meristems of their root tips by homogenization. Digoxigenin-labeled 5S rDNA was used as a probe in FISH for the rye chromosomes in the suspension, and biotin-labeled 17S rDNA and centromeric DNA were used in FISH for the rye and barley chromosome suspensions, respectively. Bright signals were detected at the specific regions of interest on the chromosomes. The results indicate that the method developed in this study is useful for selection and sorting of chromosomes that are not distinguishable by other means, using specific fluorescent labeling by FISH of the chromosomes in suspension.
The Pot1 (Protection of telomere 1) is a G-rich single-stranded telomeric DNA binding protein, identified first in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and shown to play an important role in stabilizing chromosomes. Pot1-like proteins or their encoding genes have been identified from yeasts to mammals. Based on the N-terminal amino acid sequences of fission yeast and human Pot1, two Pot1-like proteins (AtPOT1-1 and AtPOT1-2) have been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana, but neither of them has been characterized yet. In this study, we amplified their full-length cDNAs by RT-PCR and found three different variants for AtPOT1-1 and two for AtPOT1-2 genes, suggesting that they are exposed to alternative splicing. Alternative splicing also occurs in human Pot1, and only one out of five splicing variants had tissue specificity. However, no tissue specificity was found for any variants of the AtPOT1-1 and AtPOT1-2 genes among buds, flowers, leaves, roots, stems, siliques and cultured cells. Northern blot hybridization indicated that AtPOT1-1 expresses more in meristematic tissues than in vegetative tissues. By western blot analysis, we found that the antibody made against the N-terminal amino acids of AtPOT1-1 recognized three different polypeptides, indicating that all three variants are being translated in Arabidopsis.
The bimodal karyotype of pig appears to contain two types of constitutive heterochromatin, reflecting different satellite DNA families: GC-rich heterochromatin located mainly in the centromeric regions of the biarmed chromosomes, and less-GC-rich heterochromatin in the centromeric regions of the one-armed chromosomes. In order to better discriminate this constitutive heterochromatin, we treated pig chromosome preparations with eight different restriction endonucleases, followed by C-banding. This technique allowed an expedited characterization of the constitutive heterochromatin and demonstrated its great heterogeneity in pig chromosomes. Our work allowed the detection and identification of twenty-two heterochromatin subclasses (twelve centromeric, four interstitial, five telomeric, and the Yq band). Moreover, several cryptic interstitial and telomeric bands were revealed. The work presented here is useful not only for fundamental studies of chromosome banding and constitutive heterochromatin, but also offers a new approach for pig clinical cytogenetics.
DNA samples of the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) from five Andean countries, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, were analyzed for nine microsatellite loci. Seven of them were polymorphic, which led us to investigate several population-genetic parameters. Private alleles and significant differences in gene frequencies were found among the populations studied, which demonstrated the extent of genetic differentiation among the spectacled bear populations. The levels of gene diversity measured with these microsatellites were rather modest in this species. Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium was especially found for the overall and the Ecuadorian samples, and might be due to the Wahl-und effect or consanguinity. Significant genetic heterogeneity was mainly observed among the Colombian and the Ecuadorian populations. Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations clearly showed that two different gene pools were present, one present in the Venezuelan-Colombian bears and other in the Ecuadorian ones.
Using the deterministic sampling, patterns of the log-likelihood surfaces expected in some interval mapping procedures for estimating the position of, and the effect for, QTL(s) were investigated for the situations where a single QTL or closely linked QTLs are contained in a chromosome segment bracketed with two markers. The mapping procedures compared were the conventional, likelihood-based interval mapping (IM), the regression interval mapping (RIM), and the QTL-cluster mapping (CM) in which the conditional probabilities of transmission of the whole segment marked by the flanking markers were taken into consideration. The half-sib design was used here, and several cases of the true genetic model were considered, differing in the number of QTLs contained in the marker interval, the linkage phase for the sire, and the magnitude of the QTL(s) effect. For the true genetic models where a single QTL or closely linked QTLs being in coupling phase are contained in the interval, with (R)IM, clear global maxima of the log-likelihood were observed within the range of the marker interval. It was shown that the estimates of the QTL(s) effect at the marked segment level are expected to be unbiased. On the other hand, in a setting where the linkage phase for the linked QTLs located in the interval was different from coupling and repulsion, there was found a ridge along the interval for the log-likelihood surface with (R)IM, indicating the dependency between the estimates of the position of, and the effect for, the putative QTL. For this case, it was found that the position of the putative QTL could be estimated as that of one of the flanking markers, and the estimate of the QTL effect be biased. In contrast, it was revealed that CM is expected to provide the unbiased estimate of the QTL(s)-effect at the segment level for any case of the true genetic models considered here. If the aim is for marker-assisted selection rather than mapping closely linked QTLs individually, then the CM approach is considered to be useful.
The loss of biological activity of phage λ DNA was much greater when the DNA was sheared using a ceramic-coated needle attached to a syringe compared with a conventional stainless steel needle. Inactivation of the biological activity was due to breakage at the middle of the molecule. The thickness of the ceramic-coating was a crucial factor for the breakage. Because approximately the same level of inactivation was observed with a non-coated needle as with thin glass and quartz tubes, it was concluded that the unknown characteristic(s) of the silicon nitride (SiNx) coating itself resulted in the effective breakage of λ DNA molecules by shearing force.