The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 54(2), 2002
The Annual Dan Popper Symposium


FISHING IN SILICO :SEARCHING FOR TILAPIA GENES USING SEQUENCES OF MICROSATELLITE DNA MARKERS

Avner Cnaani, Michael Ron, Gideon Hulata, Eyal Seroussi*

Institute of Animal Science, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O.Box 6, Beit Dagan 50250, Israel


Abstract

Genetic linkage maps of some edible fish species consist of hundreds of DNA markers but few genes. Microsatellite DNA markers are short tandem repeats, with unique flanking sequences. They are highly abundant throughout the genome and appear in coding and non-coding regions. Therefore, it is likely that the flanking sequences may be part of a gene which can be identified by similarity searches of their sequences against the GenBank database. Microsatellite sequences were downloaded from GenBank and queried against the databases using Blastn and Blastx searches. Of 312 microsatellites compared to the databases, 17 loci significantly matched known genes. We were able to map nine of these genes in the tilapia link-age map, providing anchors for comparative mapping between tilapia and other vertebrates. The rapid in silico approach utilized in this study, previously used in mice and livestock, increased the number of genes in the tilapia linkage map from 14 to 23, and identified seven more genes which match unmapped microsatellites.

*Corresponding author. Tel.: 972-8-9484425; fax: 972-8-9470587; e-mail: seroussi@agri.huji.ac.il

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