00779: Characterization of the Canine Y Chromosome: Identifying Genes that Cause Male Infertility
Grant Status: Closed
The causes of male infertility in dogs are not well known. Though much is now known about genes on the dog autosomes and X chromosome, owing to the canine genome sequence, virtually nothing is known about the canine Y chromosome and the genes it harbors. The causes of male infertility in dogs are not well known. Though much is now known about genes on the dog autosomes and X chromosome, owing to the canine genome sequence, virtually nothing is known about the canine Y chromosome and the genes it harbors. Studies of the human and mouse Y chromosomes have shown that they contain many testis-specific genes that when defective cause infertility and spermatogenesis defects. This study aimed to characterize the gene content of the dog Y chromosome by sequencing from a cDNA selection library that is enriched for Y chromosome gene transcripts, and mapping these in the canine genome. Dr. Murphy and his team identified gene sequences from fifteen canine Y chromosome genes, characterized seven new canine-specific Y genes, and 15 novel candidate genes. Determining the copy number and function of these novel genes are of primary importance, as they are primary infertility candidate genes. Gene expression experiments identified that eight of the novel dog genes are expressed only (or predominantly) in testes, implying a role in spermatogenesis. The researchers assembled a first-generation physical map in collaboration with the Washington University Genome Center, as a prerequisite to eventually obtain the sequence of the dog Y chromosome using Next-Generation DNA sequencing technologies, as funded by CHF grant 1262. A DNA sequence will allow the most detailed information for designing genetic tests to determine whether deletions in these genes lead to abnormal spermatogenesis in infertile dogs.
Li, G., Davis, B. W., Raudsepp, T., Pearks Wilkerson, A. J., Mason, V. C., Ferguson-Smith, M., … Murphy, W. J. (2013). Comparative analysis of mammalian Y chromosomes illuminates ancestral structure and lineage-specific evolution. Genome Research, 23(9), 1486–1495. https://doi.org/10.1101/gr.154286.112
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