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Heredity (Edinb). 2008 May;100(5):533-40. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2008.10. Epub 2008 Mar 26.

Fine mapping of E(kp)-1, a locus associated with silkworm (Bombyx mori) proleg development.

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Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Center of Insect Science, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, P.R. China.


The silkworm homeotic mutant E(kp) has a pair of rudimentary abdominal legs, called prolegs, in its A2 segment. This phenotype is caused by a single dominant mutation at the E(kp)-1 locus, which was previously mapped to chromosome 6. To explore the possible association of Hox genes with proleg development in the silkworm, a map-based cloning strategy was used to isolate the E(kp)-1 locus. Five E(kp)-1-linked simple sequence repeat markers on chromosome 6 were used to generate a low-resolution map with a total genetic distance of 39.5 cM. Four additional cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence markers were developed based on the initial map. The closest marker to E(kp)-1 was at a genetic distance of 2.7 cM. A high-resolution genetic map was constructed using nine BC1 segregating populations consisting of 2396 individuals. Recombination suppression was observed in the vicinity of E(kp)-1. Four molecular markers were tightly linked to E(kp)-1, and three were clustered with it. These markers were used to screen a BAC library. A single bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone spanning the E(kp)-1 locus was identified, and E(kp)-1 was delimited to a region less than 220 kb long that included the Hox gene abdominal-A and a non-coding locus, iab-4. These results provide essential information for the isolation of this locus, which may shed light on the mechanism of proleg development in the silkworm and possibly in Lepidoptera.

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