A microarray for large-scale genomic and transcriptional analyses of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and other passerines

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Abstract

The microarray technology has revolutionized biological research in the last decade. By monitoring the expression of many genes simultaneously, microarrays can elucidate gene function, as well as scan entire genomes for candidate genes encoding complex traits. However, because of high costs of sequencing and design, microarrays have largely been restricted to a few model species. Cross-species microarray (CSM) analyses, where microarrays are used for other species than the one they were designed for, have had varied success. We have conducted a CSM analysis by hybridizing genomic DNA from the common whitethroat (Sylvia communis) on a newly developed Affymetrix array designed for the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), the Lund-zf array. The results indicate a very high potential for the zebra finch array to act as a CSM utility in other passerine birds. When hybridizing zebra finch genomic DNA, 98% of the gene representatives had higher signal intensities than the background cut-off, and for the common whitethroat, we found the equivalent proportion to be as high as 96%. This was surprising given the fact that finches and warblers diverged 25-50 million years ago, but may be explained by a relatively low sequence divergence between passerines (89-93%). Passerine birds are widely used in studies of ecology and evolution, and a zebra finch array that can be used for many species may have a large impact on future research directions.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area
  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • cross-species, affymetrix, gene expression, Passeriformes, microarray, Taeniopygia guttata
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-281
JournalMolecular Ecology Notes
Volume8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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