, Volume 49, Issue 3-4, pp 226-241
Date: 17 Dec 2010

Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of Zebra Finch Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors

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The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is an established organism for developmental, behavioral, and neurological research. In this study, we conducted a genomewide survey using the zebra finch genome project databases and identified 86 bHLH sequences in silico in the zebra finch genome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 85 proteins belong to 38 families with 29, 18, 18, 3, 11, and 6 bHLH members in supergroups A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively. One orphan member belonged to none of these groups. Comparisons of zebra finch with chicken and human bHLH repertoires suggested that both humans and birds have a number of lineage-specific bHLH members. Chromosome distribution patterns and phylogenetic analysis suggest that the zebra finch bHLH members should have arisen through gene duplication. This study provides useful information for further research using zebra finch as a model system.