Screening of B chromosomes for presence of two genes in yellow-necked mice, Apodemus flavicollis (Mammalia, Rodentia)
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B chromosomes (Bs) are a very heterogeneous group of extra chromosomes. In various species Bs occur with different nucleotide sequences ranging from repetitive to protein coding. In yellow-necked field mice, Apodemus flavicollis Bs are small euchromatic chromosomes and untill now, only few molecular analyses have been conducted. In this study we examined A. flavicollis individuals with different number of Bs for presence of two genes, C-KIT and 18S rRNA. The C-KIT proto-oncogene was found on Bs in three Canidae species and one Cervidae species. This gene is a coding receptor critical for proliferation and cell differentiation of hematopoietic, melanoblast and primordial germ cells, and is highly conserved within mammals. While using semiquantitative PCR, we did not notice any difference in the C-KIT band intensity among animals with different number of Bs (0-3). The presence of only one copy of C-KIT gene was confirmed using real time-PCR on genomic DNA of A. flavicollis specimens with different number of Bs. rRNA genes in eukaryotes' genome are organized like units of tandem repeated sequences. The units form distinct clusters on one to several chromosome pairs. rRNA genes were found on Bs in different species including two species of genus Apodemus. One particular sample with 2 Bs showed the number of 18S rRNA gene about three times that of the calibrator 0 B sample. This result can indicate the presence of 18S rRNA gene on Bs, but its confirmation requires the implementation of other methods. Still, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of pseudogen of tested target genes, or lose of exon 1 of C-KIT protooncogen in Bs of A. flavicollis. Our findings are further discussed.