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Genomics. 2001 Jul;75(1-3):26-34.

Songbird genomics: analysis of 45 kb upstream of a polymorphic Mhc class II gene in red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus).

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Abstract

Here we present the sequence of a 45 kb cosmid containing a previously characterized poly-morphic Mhc class II B gene (Agph-DAB1) from the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). We compared it with a previously sequenced cosmid from this species, revealing two regions of 7.5 kb and 13.0 kb that averaged greater than 97% similarity to each another, indicating a very recent shared duplication. We found 12 retroelements, including two chicken repeat 1 (CR1) elements, constituting 6.4% of the sequence and indicating a lower frequency of retroelements than that found in mammalian genomic DNA. Agph-DAB3, a new class II B gene discovered in the cosmid, showed a low rate of polymorphism and may be functional. In addition, we found a Mhc class II B gene fragment and three genes likely to be functional (encoding activin receptor type II, a zinc finger, and a putative gamma-filamin). Phylogenetic analysis of exon 2 alleles of all three known blackbird Mhc genes indicated strong clustering of alleles by locus, implying that large amounts of interlocus gene conversion have not occurred since these genes have been diverging. Despite this, interspecific comparisons indicate that all three blackbird Mhc genes diverged from one another less than 35 million years ago and are subject to concerted evolution in the long term. Comparison of blackbird and chicken Mhc promoter regions revealed songbird promoter elements for the first time. The high gene density of this cosmid confirms similar findings for the chicken Mhc, but the segment duplications and diversity of retroelements resembles mammalian sequences.

PMID:
11472064
DOI:
10.1006/geno.2001.6596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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