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Methods. 2006 Jul;39(3):220-7.

Methods for reverse genetic screening in zebrafish by resequencing and TILLING.

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  • 1Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. rsood@mial.nih.gov

Abstract

Animal models provide an in vivo system to study gene function by transgenic and knockout approaches. Targeted knockout approaches have been very successful in mice, but are currently not feasible in zebrafish due to the inability to grow embryonic stem cells. As an alternative, a reverse genetic approach that utilizes screening by resequencing and/or TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions INGenomes) of mutagenized genomes has recently gained popularity in the zebrafish field. Spermatogonia of healthy males are mutagenized using ENU (N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea) and F1 progeny is collected by breeding treated males with healthy wild type females. Sperm and DNA banks are generated from F1 males. DNA is screened for ENU-induced mutations by sequencing or TILLING. These mutations can then be studied by in vitro fertilization (IVF) from the cryopreserved sperm of the corresponding F1 male followed by breeding to homozygosity. A high-throughput method of screening for rare heterozygotes and efficient recovery of mutant lines are important in identification of a large number of mutations using this approach. This article provides optimized protocols for resequencing and TILLING based on our experiences. We performed a pilot screen on 1235 F1 males by resequencing 54 exons from 17 genes and analyzed the sequencing data using multiple programs to maximize the mutation detection with minimal false positive detection. As an alternative to sequencing, we developed the protocols for TILLING by capillary electrophoresis using an ABI Genetic analyzer 3100 platform followed by fragment analysis using GeneScan and Genotyper softwares. PCR products generated by fluorescently labeled universal primers and tailed exon-specific primers were pooled 4-fold prior to heteroduplex formation. Overall, our pilot screen shows that a combination of TILLING and sequencing is optimal for achieving cost-effective, high-throughput screening of a large number of samples. Amplicons with fewer common SNPs are ideal for TILLING whereas amplicons with multiple SNPs and in/del polymorphisms are best suited for sequencing followed by analysis with SNPdetector.

PMID:
16828311
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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