Recent studies of plant sex chromosome-linked genes have revealed many interesting characteristics, although there are limited reports about heteromorphic sex chromosomes in flowering plants. Sex chromosome-linked genes in angiosperms have been characterized mainly in the dioecious plant Silene latifolia. Although all such genes were isolated from transcripts of male flower buds of S. latifolia, most seem to be housekeeping genes except for the petal- and stamen-specific MADS box gene on the Y chromosome (SlAP3Y) and the male reproductive organ-specific gene on the X chromosome (MROS3X). Recent evolutionary studies have revealed at least three evolutionary strata on the X chromosome that are related to stepwise loss of recombination between the sex chromosomes. Moreover, genetic maps showed conservation of gene organization on the X chromosome in the genus Silene and substantial pericentric inversion between the X and Y chromosomes of S. latifolia during evolution. A comparison between paralogs on the sex chromosomes revealed that introns of the Y-linked genes are longer than those of X-linked paralogs. Although analyses of sex chromosome-linked genes suggest that degeneration of the Y chromosome has occurred, the Y chromosome in flowering plants remains the largest in the male genome, unlike that of mammals. Accumulation of repetitive sequences and the entire chloroplast genome on the Y chromosome appear to have contributed to this large size. However, more detailed studies will be required to help explain the basis for the fact that heteromorphic sex chromosomes in angiosperms are large.
In Clostridium perfringens S40, spore germination-specific enzymes are synthesized during sporulation. Previous reports have demonstrated that two cortex-lytic enzymes, SleC and SleM, and a component of germination-specific protease, CspC, are located outside the cortex as an integral part of the dormant spore. In the present study, we examined the time and compartment of these enzymes’ gene expression using reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and fluorescence microscopy on green fluorescence protein (GFP)-fused proteins. These results suggested that CspABC, SleC, and SleM are synthesized in the mother cell compartment of sporulating cells, probably at stages II ~ III of sporulation, and that the expression of cspABC genes is tricistronic.
DNA methylation is essential for normal development and plays important roles in regulating gene expression in plants. Analysis of the key enzymes catalyzing DNA methylation is important to understand epigenetic phenomena. In this study, three putative methyltransferase genes, BrMET1a, BrMET1b, and BrCMT, were isolated from a genome library of Brassica rapa. Structural conservation of the amino acid sequence between BrMET1a/BrMET1b and AtMET1 and that between BrCMT and AtCMT3 suggests that they may function as DNA methyltransferase. BrMET1a was expressed in vegetative and reproductive organs, while BrMET1b was expressed only in pistils, indicating that these two genes have different functions. BrCMT was expressed especially in stamens at the stage of 2–4 days before anthesis. We isolated three DNA methyltransferase genes in Brassica rapa and indicated differences of expression patterns of these DNA methyltransferase genes and expression levels in different tissues and developmental stages, suggesting that these genes might play important roles in epigenetic gene regulation in B. rapa.
The genus Lycoris of Amaryllidaceae comprises approximately 20 species that are distributed only in the moist warm temperate woodlands of eastern Asia. The objectives of this study were: (1) to clarify the phylogeny of the Lycoris species by using the definitive DNA sequencing method and (2) to examine the possible maternal donor of the hybrid origin Lycoris species and the Japanese triploid strains of Lycoris radiata var. radiata. The nucleotide sequence of the maturase K (matK) gene and the noncoding intergenic spacer (IGS) between the atpB and rbcL genes in the chloroplast genome were determined in a total of 27 strains of 11 species of the genus Lycoris. Variation among taxa was mainly due to nucleotide substitution, although deletions and an insertion were found in the IGS. For two chloroplast regions, the phylogenetic trees showed essentially similar topology, indicating the existence of four clades, I, II, III, and IV. For all the species except L. radiata, intraspecific variation was smaller than interspecific variation. For L. radiata, triploid strains were divided into clades I and II, and diploid strains were divided into clades I and IV. This implies that the diploid species of L. radiata var. pumila is a probable ancestral species. The clustering indicated that the chloroplast genome has not evolved in parallel with the karyotype in genus Lycoris. Regarding the hybrid origin species, the maternal parents of L. squamigara, L. albiflora and L. rosea were revealed to be L. longituba, L. radiata and L. radiata var pumila, respectively. We also suggest that a diploid strain of L. radiata var. pumila in clade I might be a candidate of the maternal donor of the Japanese triploid strains. A possible model of the maternal donor of Lycoris species is proposed.
We analyzed Japanese bunching onion (Allium fistulosum L.) – shallot (Allium cepa L. Aggregatum group) alien chromosome addition lines in order to assign the genes involved in the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway to chromosomes of the shallot. Two complete sets of alien monosomic additions (2n = 2x + 1 = 17) were used for determining the chromosomal locations of several partial sequences of candidate genes, CHS, CHI, F3H, DFR, and ANS via analyses of PCR-based markers. The results of DNA marker analyses showed that the CHS-A, CHS-B, CHI, F3H, DFR, and ANS genes should be assigned to chromosomes 2A, 4A, 3A, 3A, 7A, and 4A, respectively. HPLC analyses of 14 A. fistulosum – shallot multiple alien additions (2n = 2x + 2 – 2x + 7 = 18 – 23) were conducted to identify the anthocyanin compounds produced in the scaly leaves. A direct comparison between the genomic constitution and the anthocyanin compositions of the multiple additions revealed that a 3GT gene for glucosylation of anthocyanidin was located on 4A. Thus, we were able to assign all structural genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis influencing bulb color to individual chromosomes of A. cepa.
Sulfate is an essential ion required for numerous functions in mammalian physiology. Due to its hydrophilic nature, cells require sulfate transporters on their plasma membranes to allow entry of sulfate into cells. In this study, we identified a new mouse Na+-sulfate cotransporter (mNaS2), characterized its tissue distribution and determined its cDNA and gene (Slc13a4) structures. mNaS2 mRNA was expressed in placenta, brain, lung, eye, heart, testis, thymus and liver. The mouse NaS2 cDNA spans 3384 nucleotides and its open frame encodes a protein of 624 amino acids. Slc13a4 maps to mouse chromosome 6B1 and contains 16 exons, spanning over 40 kb in length. Its 5’-flanking region contains CAAT- and GC-box motifs and a number of putative transcription factor binding sites, including GATA-1, MTF-1, STAT6 and HNF4 consensus sequences. This is the first study to define the tissue distribution of mNaS2 and resolve its cDNA and gene structures, which will allow us to investigate mNaS2 gene expression in vivo and determine its role in mammalian physiology.
To elucidate genetic variation in susceptibility to organophosphate insecticides within natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster, we conducted an analysis of variance for mortality data sets of isofemale lines (10–286 lines) used in the previous studies. Susceptibility of isofemale lines to the three organophosphate insecticides was continuously distributed within each natural population, ranging from susceptible to resistant. Analysis of variance showed highly significant variation among isofemale lines in susceptibility to each insecticide for each natural population. Significant genetic variances in susceptibility to the three chemicals were estimated for the Katsunuma population; 0.0529–0.2722 for malathion, 0.0492–0.1603 for prothiophos, and 0.0469–0.1696 for fenitrothion. Contrary to the consistent seasonal tendency towards an increase in mean susceptibility in the fall, reported in the previous study, genetic variances in susceptibility to the three organophosphates did not change significantly in 1997 but tended to increase by 2- to 5-times in 1998. We tested whether both the observed situations, maintenance and increase in genetic variance in organophosphate resistance, can be generated under circumstances in which the levels of resistance to the three organophosphates tended to decrease, by conducting a simulation analysis, based on the hypothesis that resistant genotypes have lower fitnesses than susceptible ones under the density-independent condition. The simulation analysis generally explained the pattern in the mean susceptibility and genetic variances in susceptibility to the three organophosphates, observed in the Katsunuma population of D. melanogaster. It was suggested that the differences in the frequencies of resistance genes in the summer population could affect the patterns in genetic variance in organophosphate resistance in the fall population.
Two novel repetitive sequence families were isolated from Turritisglabra (2n = 2x = 12). These two repeat families are similar to those of centromeric repeats in Arabidopsis thaliana, are co-localized on one chromosome pair, and differ by about 20% from each other. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the two repeat families of T. glabra are more similar to each other than to the centromeric repeat families of other Arabidopsis and related species. The relationships of satellite sequences reflected the species phylogeny, indicating that the replacement of satellite sequences has occurred in each species lineage independently, and shared variants could not have existed for a long time between species.
To study the mechanism of RecET-mediated illegitimate recombination, we examined the formation of λbio-transducing phage in Escherichia coli in the presence or absence of UV irradiation. We have previously reported that coexpression of RecE and RecT enhances the frequency of recA-independent illegitimate recombination. RecJOR proteins are required for this RecET-mediated illegitimate recombination, and RecQ suppresses it. Here, we showed that the frequencies of both spontaneous and UV-induced RecET-mediated illegitimate recombination events are reduced by a uvrD mutation. It should be noted that UvrD is required for illegitimate recombination only in the presence, but not in the absence, of RecET. In contrast, frequencies of RecET-mediated illegitimate recombination were not affected by ruvAB, ruvC, recG, and recN mutations. The frequency of spontaneous and UV-induced illegitimate recombination in the uvrD recR double mutant was comparable to that of the uvrD single mutant, suggesting that UvrD works at the same step as RecR in the RecET-mediated recombination pathway. Nucleotide sequence analyses of the recombination junctions showed that RecET-mediated illegitimate recombination detected in UvrD-deficient strain is short-homology-dependent. Based on these and previous results, we propose a model for the role of UvrD on RecET-mediated illegitimate recombination.