Publications by authors named "Amber Messmer"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Chromosome level reference of Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus provides insight into the evolution of sexual determination systems.

Mol Ecol Resour 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Biology Department, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.

Changes in the genetic mechanisms that control sexual determination have occurred independently across the tree of life, and with exceptional frequency in teleost fishes. To investigate the genomic changes underlying the evolution of sexual determination, we sequenced a chromosome-level genome, multitissue transcriptomes, and reduced representation population data for the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), which has an XY/XX sex determination mechanism and has recently diverged (0.9-3.8 Ma) from the Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), which has a ZZ/ZW system. We used frequency and coverage-based population approaches to identify a putative sex-determining factor, GSDF. We characterized regions with elevated heterozygosity and linkage disequilibrium indicating suppression of recombination across a nascent sex chromosome. We detected testis-specific expression of GSDF, the sequence of which is highly conserved across flatfishes. Based on evidence from genome-wide association, coverage, linkage disequilibrium, testis and brain transcriptomes, and sequence conservation with other flatfishes, we propose a mechanism for the recent evolution of an XY sex-determination mechanism in Atlantic halibut. Changes to the ancestral sex-determining gene DMRT1 in regulating the downstream gene GSDF probably coincided with GSDF, or a proximal regulatory element of it, becoming the primary sex-determining factor. Our results suggest changes to a small number of elements can have drastic repercussions for the genomic substrate available to sex-specific evolutionary forces, providing insight into how certain elements repeatedly evolve to control sex across taxa. Our chromosome-level assembly, multitissue transcriptomes, and population genomic data provide a valuable resource and understanding of the evolution of sexual systems in fishes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13369DOI Listing
March 2021

Resolving fine-scale population structure and fishery exploitation using sequenced microsatellites in a northern fish.

Evol Appl 2020 May 20;13(5):1055-1068. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Department of Ocean Sciences Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John's NL Canada.

The resiliency of populations and species to environmental change is dependent on the maintenance of genetic diversity, and as such, quantifying diversity is central to combating ongoing widespread reductions in biodiversity. With the advent of next-generation sequencing, several methods now exist for resolving fine-scale population structure, but the comparative performance of these methods for genetic assignment has rarely been tested. Here, we evaluate the performance of sequenced microsatellites and a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array to resolve fine-scale population structure in a critically important salmonid in north eastern Canada, Arctic Charr (). We also assess the utility of sequenced microsatellites for fisheries applications by quantifying the spatial scales of movement and exploitation through genetic assignment of fishery samples to rivers of origin and comparing these results with a 29-year tagging dataset. Self-assignment and simulation-based analyses of 111 genome-wide microsatellite loci and 500 informative SNPs from 28 populations of Arctic Charr in north-eastern Canada identified largely river-specific genetic structure. Despite large differences (~4X) in the number of loci surveyed between panels, mean self-assignment accuracy was similar with the microsatellite loci and the SNP panel (>90%). Subsequent analysis of 996 fishery-collected samples using the microsatellite panel revealed that larger rivers contribute greater numbers of individuals to the fishery and that coastal fisheries largely exploit individuals originating from nearby rivers, corroborating results from traditional tagging experiments. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of sequence-based microsatellite genotyping to advance understanding of fine-scale population structure and harvest composition in northern and understudied species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.12922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7232759PMC
May 2020

A genetic linkage map for the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis): evidence for high male:female and inter-familial recombination rate differences.

Mol Genet Genomics 2019 Apr 20;294(2):343-363. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

Department of Biology, Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC, V8W 3N5, Canada.

A salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis salmonis) genetic linkage map was constructed to serve as a genomic resource for future investigations into the biology of this important marine parasitic copepod species, and to provide insights into the inheritance patterns of genetic markers in this species. SNP genotyping of 8 families confirmed the presence of 15 linkage groups based upon the assignment of 93,773 markers. Progeny sample size weight adjusted map sizes in males (with the exception of SL12 and SL15) ranged in size from 96.50 cM (SL11) to 134.61 cM (SL06), and total combined map steps or bins ranged from 143 (SL09) to 203 (SL13). The SL12 male map was the smallest linkage group with a weight-averaged size of 3.05 cM with 6 recombination bins. Male:female specific recombination rate differences are 10.49:1 and represent one of the largest reported sex-specific differences for any animal species. Recombination ratio differences (M:F) ranged from 1.0 (SL12) to 29:1 (SL15). The number of markers exhibiting normal Mendelian segregation within the sex linkage group SL15 was extremely low (N = 80) in comparison to other linkage groups genotyped [range: 1459 (SL12)-10206 markers (SL05)]. Re-evaluation of Mendelian inheritance patterns of markers unassigned to any mapping parent according to hemizygous segregation patterns (models presented) identified matches for many of these markers to hemizygous patterns. The greatest proportion of these markers assigned to SL15 (N increased to 574). Inclusion of the hemizygous markers revised SL15 sex-specific recombination rate differences to 28:1. Recombination hot- and coldspots were identified across all linkage groups with all linkage groups possessing multiple peaks. Nine of 13 linkage groups evaluated possessed adjacent domains with hot-coldspot transitional zones. The most common pattern was for one end of the linkage to show elevated recombination in addition to internal regions. For SL01 and SL06, however, a terminal region with high recombination was not evident while a central domain possessing extremely high-recombination levels was present. High levels of recombination were weakly coupled to higher levels of SNP variation within domains, but this association was very strong for the central domains of SL01 and SL06. From the pooled paternal half-sib lots (several virgin females placed with 1 male), only 1 or two surviving family lots were obtained. Surviving families possessed parents where both the male and female possessed either inherently low or high recombination rates. This study provides insight into the organization of the sea louse genome, and describes large differences in recombination rate that exist among individuals of the same sex, and between the sexes. These differences in recombination rate may be coupled to the capabilities of this species to adapt to environmental and pharmaceutical treatments, given that family survivorship appears to be enhanced when parents have similar recombination levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00438-018-1513-7DOI Listing
April 2019

A 200K SNP chip reveals a novel Pacific salmon louse genotype linked to differential efficacy of emamectin benzoate.

Mar Genomics 2018 Jul 16;40:45-57. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria V8W 2Y2, BC, Canada; Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3N5, Canada. Electronic address:

Antiparasitic drugs such as emamectin benzoate (EMB) are relied upon to reduce the parasite load, particularly of the sea louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis, on farmed salmon. The decline in EMB treatment efficacy for this purpose is an important issue for salmon producers around the world, and particularly for those in the Atlantic Ocean where widespread EMB tolerance in sea lice is recognized as a significant problem. Salmon farms in the Northeast Pacific Ocean have not historically experienced the same issues with treatment efficacy, possibly due to the relatively large population of endemic salmonid hosts that serve to both redistribute surviving lice and dilute populations potentially under selection by introducing naïve lice to farms. Frequent migration of lice among farmed and wild hosts should limit the effect of farm-specific selection pressures on changes to the overall allele frequencies of sea lice in the Pacific Ocean. A previous study using microsatellites examined L. salmonis oncorhynchi from 10 Pacific locations from wild and farmed hosts and found no population structure. Recently however, a farm population of sea lice was detected where EMB bioassay exposure tolerance was abnormally elevated. In response, we have developed a Pacific louse draft genome that complements the previously-released Atlantic louse sequence. These genomes were combined with whole-genome re-sequencing data to design a highly sensitive 201,279 marker SNP array applicable for both subspecies (90,827 validated Pacific loci; 153,569 validated Atlantic loci). Notably, kmer spectrum analysis of the re-sequenced samples indicated that Pacific lice exhibit a large within-individual heterozygosity rate (average of 1 in every 72 bases) that is markedly higher than that of Atlantic individuals (1 in every 173 bases). The SNP chip was used to produce a high-density map for Atlantic sea louse linkage group 5 that was previously shown to be associated with EMB tolerance in Atlantic lice. Additionally, 478 Pacific louse samples from farmed and wild hosts obtained between 2005 and 2014 were also genotyped on the array. Clustering analysis allowed us to detect the apparent emergence of an otherwise rare genotype at a high frequency among the lice collected from two farms in 2013 that had reported elevated EMB tolerance. This genotype was not observed in louse samples collected from the same farm in 2010, nor in any lice sampled from other locations prior to 2013. However, this genotype was detected at low frequencies in louse samples from farms in two locations reporting elevated EMB tolerance in 2014. These results suggest that a rare genotype present in Pacific lice may be locally expanded in farms after EMB treatment. Supporting this hypothesis, 437 SNPs associated with this genotype were found to be in a region of linkage group 5 that overlaps the region associated with EMB resistance in Atlantic lice. Finally, five of the top diagnostic SNPs within this region were used to screen lice that had been subjected to an EMB survival assay, revealing a significant association between these SNPs and EMB treatment outcome. To our knowledge this work is the first report to identify a genetic link to altered EMB efficacy in L. salmonis in the Pacific Ocean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2018.03.005DOI Listing
July 2018

High level efficacy of lufenuron against sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) linked to rapid impact on moulting processes.

Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist 2018 08 13;8(2):174-188. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Hoplite Lab, Department of Pathology & Microbiology, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown PE, C1A 4P3, Canada. Electronic address:

Drug resistance in the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis is a global issue for Atlantic salmon aquaculture. Multiple resistance has been described across most available compound classes with the exception of the benzoylureas. To target this gap in effective management of L. salmonis and other species of sea lice (e.g. Caligus spp.), Elanco Animal Health is developing an in-feed treatment containing lufenuron (a benzoylurea) to be administered prior to seawater transfer of salmon smolts and to provide long-term protection of salmon against sea lice infestations. Benzoylureas disrupt chitin synthesis, formation, and deposition during all moulting events. However, the mechanism(s) of action are not yet fully understood and most research completed to date has focused on insects. We exposed the first parasitic stage of L. salmonis to 700 ppb lufenuron for three hours and observed over 90% reduction in survival to the chalimus II life stage on the host, as compared to vehicle controls. This agrees with a follow up in vivo administration study on the host, which showed >95% reduction by the chalimus I stage. Transcriptomic responses of salmon lice exposed to lufenuron included genes related to moulting, epithelial differentiation, solute transport, and general developmental processes. Global metabolite profiles also suggest that membrane stability and fluidity is impacted in treated lice. These molecular signals are likely the underpinnings of an abnormal moulting process and cuticle formation observed ultrastructurally using transmission electron microscopy. Treated nauplii-staged lice exhibited multiple abnormalities in the integument, suggesting that the coordinated assembly of the epi- and procuticle is impaired. In all cases, treatment with lufenuron had rapid impacts on L. salmonis development. We describe multiple experiments to characterize the efficacy of lufenuron on eggs, larvae, and parasitic stages of L. salmonis, and provide the most comprehensive assessment of the physiological responses of a marine arthropod to a benzoylurea chemical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpddr.2018.02.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039351PMC
August 2018

Apple hammerhead viroid-like RNA is a bona fide viroid: Autonomous replication and structural features support its inclusion as a new member in the genus Pelamoviroid.

Virus Res 2018 04 3;249:8-15. Epub 2018 Mar 3.

Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Plantas (UPV-CSIC), Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Avenida de los Naranjos, 46022 Valencia, Spain. Electronic address:

Apple hammerhead viroid-like RNA (AHVd RNA) has been reported in different apple cultivars and geographic regions and, considering the presence of hammerhead ribozymes in both polarity strands, suspected to be either a viroid of the family Avsunviroidae or a viroid-like satellite RNA. Here we report that dimeric head-to-tail in vitro transcripts of a 433-nt reference variant of AHVd RNA from cultivar "Pacific Gala" are infectious when mechanically inoculated to apple, thus showing that this RNA is a bona fide viroid for which we have kept the name apple hammerhead viroid (AHVd) until its pathogenicity, if any, is better assessed. By combining thermodynamics-based predictions with co-variation analyses of the natural genetic diversity found in AHVd we have inferred the most likely conformations for both AHVd polarity strands in vivo, with that of the (+) polarity strand being stabilized by a kissing loop-interaction similar to those reported in peach latent mosaic viroid and chrysathemum chlorotic mottle viroid, the two known members of the genus Pelamoviroid (family Avsunviroidae). Therefore, AHVd RNA fulfills the biological and molecular criteria to be allocated to this genus, the members of which, intriguingly, display low global sequence identity but high structural conservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2018.03.001DOI Listing
April 2018

Cypermethrin exposure induces metabolic and stress-related gene expression in copepodid salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis).

Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics 2016 Dec 31;20:74-84. Epub 2016 Aug 31.

Hoplite Lab, Department of Pathology & Microbiology, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, PE, C1A 4P3, Canada. Electronic address:

Cypermethrin has been administered for decades to control salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) infestations in Atlantic salmon farming regions globally. However, resistance to cypermethrin and other available therapeutants has threatened the sustainability of this growing industry. To better understand the effects of cypermethrin on L. salmonis, a 38K oligonucleotide microarray and RT-qPCR analyses were applied to pools of copepodid larvae exposed to 1.0ppb cypermethrin or seawater controls for 24h. Phenotypic assessments and global gene expression profiles showed a significant disruption of homeostasis in copepodid L. salmonis exposed to cypermethrin. Multiple degradative enzymes were overexpressed in cypermethrin-treated lice including five trypsin-like serine proteases and three cytochrome p450s CYP3a24 (p=0.03, fold change (FC)=3.8; GenBank accession no. JP326960.1), CYP6w1 (p=0.008, FC=5.3; GenBank accession no. JP317875.1), and CYP6d4 (p=0.01; FC=7.9; GenBank accession no. JP334550.1). These enzymes represent preliminary markers for understanding the physiological response of L. salmonis to cypermethrin exposure. A general stress response was also observed in cypermethrin-treated lice which included differential expression of cell signaling genes involved in the induction of cell growth, solute transport, and metabolism. Lastly, a consensus-based analysis was completed with two previously published L. salmonis transcriptome studies revealing genes that respond to cypermethrin, emamectin benzoate (another delousing agent) and hyposalinity. This included concordant differential expression of heat shock beta-1, ammonium transporter Rh types B, and 72kDa type IV collagenase across different L. salmonis studies. This is currently the most comprehensive transcriptome assessment of chemical exposure on the first infectious stage of L. salmonis, providing novel markers for studying drug resistance and general stress in this important parasite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbd.2016.08.004DOI Listing
December 2016

The genome and linkage map of the northern pike (Esox lucius): conserved synteny revealed between the salmonid sister group and the Neoteleostei.

PLoS One 2014 28;9(7):e102089. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Department of Biology, Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The northern pike is the most frequently studied member of the Esociformes, the closest order to the diverse and economically important Salmoniformes. The ancestor of all salmonids purportedly experienced a whole-genome duplication (WGD) event, making salmonid species ideal for studying the early impacts of genome duplication while complicating their use in wider analyses of teleost evolution. Studies suggest that the Esociformes diverged from the salmonid lineage prior to the WGD, supporting the use of northern pike as a pre-duplication outgroup. Here we present the first genome assembly, reference transcriptome and linkage map for northern pike, and evaluate the suitability of this species to provide a representative pre-duplication genome for future studies of salmonid and teleost evolution. The northern pike genome sequence is composed of 94,267 contigs (N50 = 16,909 bp) contained in 5,688 scaffolds (N50 = 700,535 bp); the total scaffolded genome size is 878 million bases. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that over 96% of the protein-coding genome is present in the genome assembly. The reference transcriptome was constructed from 13 tissues and contains 38,696 transcripts, which are accompanied by normalized expression data in all tissues. Gene-prediction analysis produced a total of 19,601 northern pike-specific gene models. The first-generation linkage map identifies 25 linkage groups, in agreement with northern pike's diploid karyotype of 2N = 50, and facilitates the placement of 46% of assembled bases onto linkage groups. Analyses reveal a high degree of conserved synteny between northern pike and other model teleost genomes. While conservation of gene order is limited to smaller syntenic blocks, the wider conservation of genome organization implies the northern pike exhibits a suitable approximation of a non-duplicated Protacanthopterygiian genome. This dataset will facilitate future studies of esocid biology and empower ongoing examinations of the Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout genomes by facilitating their comparison with other major teleost groups.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102089PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4113312PMC
December 2015

Sex-specific expression and localization of aromatase and its regulators during embryonic and larval development of Atlantic salmon.

Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2014 Feb 13;168:33-44. Epub 2013 Nov 13.

Department of Biology, Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3N5, Canada.

The products of dax1, foxl2a and mis have each been shown to have proliferative and/or differentiative activities during mammalian organogenesis. These factors also play a role in regulating the biosynthesis of estrogen, particularly by modulating the activity of aromatase cyp19a. We demonstrate the transcription and translation of these genes during salmon embryogenesis. We were able to track sex-specific differences in these processes through accurate determination of the sex of each embryo and larva examined from genotyped microsatellites. We detected sex- and stage-specific immunolabeling of the embryonic gut, kidney, gonads, neural cord and skeletal muscle by DAX-1, FOXL2A and MIS. These results indicate the potential of these factors to mediate proliferation and/or differentiation programs during development of these tissues. As well, immunolabeling of skeletal muscle by CYP19B1 throughout the study reveals probable neurogenic activity associated with peripheral radial glial cells and the growing embryonic musculature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpb.2013.11.004DOI Listing
February 2014

Genomics of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria): expressed genes, mitochondrial phylogeny, linkage map and identification of a putative sex gene.

BMC Genomics 2013 Jul 6;14:452. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

Department of Biology, Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Background: The sablefish (order: Scorpaeniformes) is an economically important species in commercial fisheries of the North Pacific and an emerging species in aquaculture. Aside from a handful of sequences in NCBI and a few published microsatellite markers, little is known about the genetics of this species. The development of genetic tools, including polymorphic markers and a linkage map will allow for the successful development of future broodstock and mapping of phenotypes of interest. The significant sexual dimorphism between females and males makes a genetic test for early identification of sex desirable.

Results: A full mitochondrial genome is presented and the resulting phylogenetic analysis verifies the placement of the sablefish within the Scorpaeniformes. Nearly 35,000 assembled transcript sequences are used to identify genes and obtain polymorphic SNP and microsatellite markers. 360 transcribed polymorphic loci from two sablefish families produce a map of 24 linkage groups. The sex phenotype maps to sablefish LG14 of the male map. We show significant conserved synteny and conservation of gene-order between the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus and sablefish. An additional 1843 polymorphic SNP markers are identified through next-generation sequencing techniques. Sex-specific markers and sequence insertions are identified immediately upstream of the gene gonadal-soma derived factor (gsdf), the master sex determinant locus in the medaka species Oryzias luzonensis.

Conclusions: The first genomic resources for sablefish provide a foundation for further studies. Over 35,000 transcripts are presented, and the genetic map represents, as far as we can determine, the first linkage map for a member of the Scorpaeniformes. The observed level of conserved synteny and comparative mapping will allow the use of the stickleback genome in future genetic studies on sablefish and other related fish, particularly as a guide to whole-genome assembly. The identification of sex-specific insertions immediately upstream of a known master sex determinant implicates gsdf as an excellent candidate for the master sex determinant for sablefish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-14-452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3708741PMC
July 2013

Permanent genetic resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 August 2010-30 September 2010.

Mol Ecol Resour 2011 Jan;11(1):219-22

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR), Hyderabad 500007, India.

This article documents the addition of 229 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Acacia auriculiformis × Acacia mangium hybrid, Alabama argillacea, Anoplopoma fimbria, Aplochiton zebra, Brevicoryne brassicae, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Bucorvus leadbeateri, Delphacodes detecta, Tumidagena minuta, Dictyostelium giganteum, Echinogammarus berilloni, Epimedium sagittatum, Fraxinus excelsior, Labeo chrysophekadion, Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi, Paratrechina longicornis, Phaeocystis antarctica, Pinus roxburghii and Potamilus capax. These loci were cross-tested on the following species: Acacia peregrinalis, Acacia crassicarpa, Bruguiera cylindrica, Delphacodes detecta, Tumidagena minuta, Dictyostelium macrocephalum, Dictyostelium discoideum, Dictyostelium purpureum, Dictyostelium mucoroides, Dictyostelium rosarium, Polysphondylium pallidum, Epimedium brevicornum, Epimedium koreanum, Epimedium pubescens, Epimedium wushanese and Fraxinus angustifolia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02944.xDOI Listing
January 2011

Evolution of duplicated IgH loci in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar.

BMC Genomics 2010 Sep 2;11:486. Epub 2010 Sep 2.

Department of Biology, University of Victoria,Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Background: The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus possesses two parallel IgH isoloci (IGH-A and IGH-B), that are related to the genomic duplication event in the family Salmonidae. These duplicated IgH loci in Atlantic salmon provide a unique opportunity to examine the mechanisms of genome diversity and genome evolution of the IgH loci in vertebrates. In this study, we defined the structure of these loci in Atlantic salmon, and sequenced 24 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones that were assembled into the IGH-A (1.1 Mb) and IGH-B (0.9 Mb) loci. In addition, over 7,000 cDNA clones from the IgH variable (VH) region have been sequenced and analyzed.

Results: The present study shows that the genomic organization of the duplicated IgH loci in Atlantic salmon differs from that in other teleosts and other vertebrates. The loci possess multiple Cτ genes upstream of the Cμ region, with three of the Cτ genes being functional. Moreover, the duplicated loci possess over 300 VH segments which could be classified into 18 families. This is the largest number of VH families currently defined in any vertebrate. There were significant structural differences between the two loci, indicating that both IGH-A and -B loci have evolved independently in the short time after the recent genome duplication approximately 60 mya.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that the duplication of the IgH loci in Atlantic salmon significantly contributes to the increased diversity of the antibody repertoire, as compared with the single IgH locus in other vertebrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-486DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996982PMC
September 2010

Salmo salar and Esox lucius full-length cDNA sequences reveal changes in evolutionary pressures on a post-tetraploidization genome.

BMC Genomics 2010 Apr 30;11:279. Epub 2010 Apr 30.

Biology, Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 3N5 Canada.

Background: Salmonids are one of the most intensely studied fish, in part due to their economic and environmental importance, and in part due to a recent whole genome duplication in the common ancestor of salmonids. This duplication greatly impacts species diversification, functional specialization, and adaptation. Extensive new genomic resources have recently become available for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), but documentation of allelic versus duplicate reference genes remains a major uncertainty in the complete characterization of its genome and its evolution.

Results: From existing expressed sequence tag (EST) resources and three new full-length cDNA libraries, 9,057 reference quality full-length gene insert clones were identified for Atlantic salmon. A further 1,365 reference full-length clones were annotated from 29,221 northern pike (Esox lucius) ESTs. Pairwise dN/dS comparisons within each of 408 sets of duplicated salmon genes using northern pike as a diploid out-group show asymmetric relaxation of selection on salmon duplicates.

Conclusions: 9,057 full-length reference genes were characterized in S. salar and can be used to identify alleles and gene family members. Comparisons of duplicated genes show that while purifying selection is the predominant force acting on both duplicates, consistent with retention of functionality in both copies, some relaxation of pressure on gene duplicates can be identified. In addition, there is evidence that evolution has acted asymmetrically on paralogs, allowing one of the pair to diverge at a faster rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2886063PMC
April 2010