Progress on mammalian comparative maps could be significantly accelerated by developing reagents defining orthologous landmarks in the genome of many mammalian species. Using the large databases of gene sequences, we designed 225 orthologous gene-specific primer pairs corresponding to 146 functional genes. Of these 225 primer pairs, 155 (68.9%), 182 (80.9%), 126 (56.0%), and 82 (36.4%) produced a single PCR product when tested against human, pig, dog, and hamster genomic DNA, respectively. In addition to the general rules of primer designing, particular factors must be taken into consideration when choosing gene-specific universal primers—for instance, preference for single-exon regions or highly conserved segments among species, avoidance of GC-rich regions. Sequencing all the canine PCR products traced by these primers demonstrated that of 123 traced canine fragments with readable and reliable sequences, 121 (98.4%) were found to match the GenBank orthologous sequences used for designing the primers, after a BLAST search. Comparative characterization of PCR fragments among human, pig, dog, and hamster revealed that the length of a single exon was much conserved among species, with few exceptions. As the fragments were traced with amplification by orthologous gene-specific primers, we suggest they be termed Traced Orthologous Amplified Sequence Tags (TOASTs).
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 1998
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