CpG islands of chicken are concentrated on microchromosomes

Heather McQueen, J Fantes, S H Cross, V H Clark, A L Archibald, A P Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The chicken karyotype comprises 39 chromosome pairs of which at least 29 are 'microchromosomes'. Microchromosomes account for about 25% of the genomic DNA, but they are cytologically indistinguishable from one another (1). Due to technical limitations there is a strong bias of mapped genes within the chicken genome database ChickGBASE (2) towards macrochromosomes 1-6 and Z, with specific assignments to only one microchromosome (3,4). Several genes have, however, been assigned to the microchromosome group as a whole (3,5-9), demonstrating that these tiny chromosomes do not represent genetically inert DNA. To determine the overall chromosomal distribution of genes, as well as to provide a mapping resource, we prepared a CpG island library from chicken using differential binding to a methyl-CpG chicken using differential binding to a methyl-CpG binding column before and after de novo methylation (10). Surprisingly, we found that chicken CpG islands are highly concentrated on the microchromosomes, whereas macrochromosomes 1-6 are comparatively gene-poor by this assay. Our results raise the possibility that gene density on chicken microchromosomes approaches the maximum value known for vertebrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-4
Number of pages4
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA
  • Gene Library
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Sequence Data


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