Structure of the intergenic spacers in chicken ribosomal DNA.

TitleStructure of the intergenic spacers in chicken ribosomal DNA.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsDyomin, A, Galkina, S, Fillon, V, Cauet, S, Lopez-Roques, C, Rodde, N, Klopp, C, Vignal, A, Sokolovskaya, A, Saifitdinova, A, Gaginskaya, E
JournalGenet Sel Evol
Date Published2019 Oct 26

BACKGROUND: Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeats are situated in the nucleolus organizer regions (NOR) of chromosomes and transcribed into rRNA for ribosome biogenesis. Thus, they are an essential component of eukaryotic genomes. rDNA repeat units consist of rRNA gene clusters that are transcribed into single pre-rRNA molecules, each separated by intergenic spacers (IGS) that contain regulatory elements for rRNA gene cluster transcription. Because of their high repeat content, rDNA sequences are usually absent from genome assemblies. In this work, we used the long-read sequencing technology to describe the chicken IGS and fill the knowledge gap on rDNA sequences of one of the key domesticated animals.

METHODS: We used the long-read PacBio RSII technique to sequence the BAC clone WAG137G04 (Wageningen BAC library) known to contain chicken NOR elements and the HGAP workflow software suit to assemble the PacBio RSII reads. Whole-genome sequence contigs homologous to the chicken rDNA repetitive unit were identified based on the Gallus_gallus-5.0 assembly with BLAST. We used the Geneious 9.0.5 and Mega software, maximum likelihood method and Chickspress project for sequence evolution analysis, phylogenetic tree construction and analysis of the raw transcriptome data.

RESULTS: Three complete IGS sequences in the White Leghorn chicken genome and one IGS sequence in the red junglefowl contig AADN04001305.1 (Gallus_gallus-5.0) were detected. They had various lengths and contained three groups of tandem repeats (some of them being very GC rich) that form highly organized arrays. Initiation and termination sites of rDNA transcription were located within small and large unique regions (SUR and LUR), respectively. No functionally significant sites were detected within the tandem repeat sequences.

CONCLUSIONS: Due to the highly organized GC-rich repeats, the structure of the chicken IGS differs from that of IGS in human, apes, Xenopus or fish rDNA. However, the chicken IGS shares some molecular organization features with that of the turtles, which are other representatives of the Sauropsida clade that includes birds and reptiles. Our current results on the structure of chicken IGS together with the previously reported ribosomal gene cluster sequence provide sufficient data to consider that the complete chicken rDNA sequence is assembled with confidence in terms of molecular DNA organization.

Alternate JournalGenet. Sel. Evol.
PubMed ID31655542
PubMed Central IDPMC6815422
Grant List18-04-01276A / / Russian Foundation for Basic Research /
1.40.1625.2017 / / Saint Petersburg State University /
ANR-10-INBS-09 / / Agence Nationale pour la Recherche /
Programme operationnel FEDER-FSE MIDI-PYRENEES ET GARONNE 2014-2020 / / GET-PACBIO /