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The Discoidin I Gene Family of Dictyostelium Discoideum Is Linked to Genes Regulating Its Expression

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  • Investigations
  • Biology


The discoidin I protein has been studied extensively as a marker of early development in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. However, like most other developmentally regulated proteins in this system, no reliable information was available on the linkage of the discoidin genes to other known genes. Analysis of the linkage of the discoidin I genes by use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms revealed that all three discoidin I genes as well as a pseudogene are located on linkage group II. This evidence is consistent with the discoidin I genes forming a gene cluster that may be under the control of a single regulatory element. The discoidin I genes are linked to three genetic loci (disA, motA, daxA) that affect the expression of the discoidin I protein. Linkage of the gene family members to regulatory loci may be important in the coordinate maintenance of the gene family and regulatory loci. A duplication affecting the entire discoidin gene family is also linked to group II; this appears to be a small tandem duplication. This duplication was mapped using a DNA polymorphism generated by insertion of the Tdd-3 mobile genetic element into a Tdd-2 element flanking the γ gene. A probe for Tdd-2 identified a restriction fragment length polymorphism in strain AX3K that was consistent with generation by a previously proposed Tdd-3 insertion event. A putative duplication or rearrangement of a second Tdd-2 element on linkage group IV of strain AX3K was also identified. This is the first linkage information available for mobile genetic elements in D. discoideum.

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