PRESENT STATE OF GENETIC NOMENCLATURE FOR GENE MAPPING AND DNA TYPING IN CATTLE

Edmond P. Cribiu and Alain Bouvet   INRA, Centre de Recherche de Jouy, Laboratoire de Cytogénétique, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France.

SUMMARY

This paper proposes a standard system of nomenclature for bovine gene mapping. It is suggested that the rules already in use for human gene  nomenclature should be applied to gene mapping in domestic animals.

INTRODUCTION

Gene mapping started at the beginning of the century in Drosophila. In mammals, Mouse used to be the most extensively studied species since in  1988, 1250 genes have been localized (Lalley et al, 1988). During the eighties, the number of geneslocalized in humans increased dramatically and surpassed those of the Mouse, thanks to the development of DNA techniques and the wealth of available information on various known inherited diseases. n 1988, 3650 loci had been mapped whereas, only 21, 34, 38 and 57 genes had been localized in Horse, Sheep, Pig and Cattle, respectively (Maijala, 1989).

At present, loci have been assigned to 9 bovine chromosomes only (Table 1).   However, the increasing number of laboratorles involved in gene mapplng, underlines the eed for a common standardized nomenclature similar to that already in use for humans. In human gene mapping, a standardized nomenclature has been established at HGM5 (Edinburgh, 1979), and revised at the following workshops (HGM6, 1982: HGM7, 984; HGM8, 1985; HGM9, 1988; HGM10, 1989).

These rules do not apply only to the nomenclature of enzymes and proteins, but also to inherited defects, blood groups, surface antigens, DNA fragments, protooncogenes, viruses and associate markers, fragile sites, mitonchondrial genes, and finally homologous genes in various species.

BOVINE GENE MAPPING

Numerous approaches are necessary to establish the genetic map of a given species: Mendelian genetics, Somatic cells genetics, Cytogenetics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Most of the methods developed in humans during the seventies have been applied to Cattle: Somatic cell hybrids, linkage analysis in family studies, in situ hybridization, gene dosage, chromosomal anomalies, fine analysis using restriction enzymes, homology of synteny groups, experimentally induced-mutations and their segregation, and finally cloned genes and anonymous DNA segments (RFLPs).

Gene mapping in cattle started at the end of the sixties with the determination of linkage groups in families (Grosclaude et al., 1965; Larsen and Thymann, 1966); Hines et al., 1969; Larsen, 1969: Thatcher and Kiddy, 1965; Larsen, 1977; Larsen, 1981; Georgeset al., 1987).

By the end of the seventies, the development of somatic ceil hybridization has revealed the presence of numerous synteny groups on the X chromosome (Heuertz and  Hors-Cayla, 1978; Shimizu et al., 1981), and on the autosomes (Heuertz and Hors-Cayla, 1981; Echard et al., 1984; Womack and Moll, 1986).

In 1981 (HGM, 1982), a nomenclature for synteny groups have been proposed: U for unassigned, for the autosomal groups known at that time (Heuertz and Hors-Cayla, 1981).

At the beginning of the eighties, the determination of restriction fragment length polymorphisms or numerous repeat sequences on DNA fragments (RFLPs and VNTRs) has permitted their use as genetic markers in linkage studies. During the same period, physical localizations on autosomes are determined in chromosomes from somatic cell hybrids (Dain et al., 1984).

At the end of the eighties, the development of in situ hybridization techniques has permitted to localize numerous autosomal genes (Fries et al., 1986; Fries et al., 1988; Fries et al., 1989b; Popescu et al., 1988).

During the RFLP/Gene Mapping Workshop (Andersson et al., 1989), it has been agreed that the bovine gene nomenclature follows that already accepted in humans.:

Genes are named using English alphabet letters and/or Arabic numerals. For Instance: CASASI (alpha-SI Casein); G6PD (Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase) (HGM5, 1979).

The bovine DNA fragment nomenclature is identical to that use for human DNA fragments. For exemple: DYZI (D for DNA segment, Y for Y chromosome, Z for repeat DNA segment, I is the sequential number) (HGM8, 1985).

CONCLUSION

Gene mapping in cattle is of paramount interest in cattle breeding since it would permit accurate parentage testing, studies of the structure of various livestock populations, determination of heterozygosity and maybe heterosis and Improve the accuracy of selection decisions.

In conclusion, Cattle is the livestock species most extensively studied due to its economical importance, the large size of its population and the abundance of available data. However, a titanic work remains to be accomplished, to assign localization to the 200 inherited anomalies (Lauvergne, 1968), 11 blood group polymorphisms, 25 blood proteins, 6 milk proteins and various physiological proteins already reported (Maijala, 1989) .

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