Differences in gene density on chicken macrochromosomes and microchromosomes

Jacqueline Smith, C K Bruley, I R Paton, I Dunn, C T Jones, D Windsor, D R Morrice, A S Law, J Masabanda, A Sazanov, D Waddington, R Fries, D W Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chicken karyotype comprises six pairs of large macrochromosomes and 33 pairs of smaller microchromosomes. Cytogenetic evidence suggests that microchromosomes may be more gene-dense than macrochromosomes. In this paper, we compare the gene densities on macrochromosomes and microchromosomes based on sequence sampling of cloned genomic DNA, and from the distribution of genes mapped by genetic linkage and physical mapping. From these different approaches we estimate that microchromosomes are twice as gene-dense as macrochromosomes and show that sequence sampling is an effective means of gene discovery in the chicken. Using this method we have also detected a conserved linkage between the genes for serotonin 1D receptor (HTR1D) and the platelet-activating factor receptor protein gene (PTAFR) on chicken chromosome 5 and human chromosome 1p34.3. Taken together with its advantages as an experimental animal, and public access to genetic and physical mapping resources, the chicken is a useful model genome for studies on the structure, function and evolution of the vertebrate genome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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