Biochemical Genetics

, 47:817 | Cite as

Organization of a β and α Globin Gene Set in the Teleost Atlantic Cod, Gadus morhua



Developmental globin gene expression and gene switching in vertebrates have been extensively studied. Globin gene regions have been characterized in some fish species and show linked α and β loci. Understanding coordinated expression between α and β globin genes in fish is of importance for further insights into globin gene regulation in teleosts and higher vertebrates. We characterize linked β and α globin genes in Atlantic cod, pulled from the Atlantic cod genome with a PCR research strategy, by screening a genomic λ library and primer walking. The genes are oriented tail-to-head (5′–3′), differing from the head-to-head orientation in transcriptional polarity characteristic of teleostean globin genes. Four tandem repeats are found in an intergenic region of 1500 base pairs. One microsatellite, which consists primarily of atg tandem repeats, has an open reading frame. The globin genes and open reading frame have a CCAAT promoter element and TATA boxes. The promoters of the open reading frame and the β gene share an 89-bp block (with 100% identity) that probably regulates transcription.


Hemoglobin β/α globin genes Regulatory elements Atlantic cod Gadus morhua 



We thank Prof. Lars Pilström, Uppsala University, for giving us copies of a λ genomic library, and Prof. Jarle Mork at NTNU in Trondheim for tissue samples of genotyped individuals. The study was supported by a grant from the Icelandic Research Fund. We thank Dr. Petur Henry Petersen, and an anonymous reviewer for critical and helpful comments on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BiologyUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland

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