, Volume 111, Issue 1–3, pp 319–328 | Cite as

Highly repetitive DNA families restricted to germ cells in a Japanese hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri): a hierarchical and mosaic structure in eliminated chromosomes

  • S. Kubota
  • J.-i. Takano
  • R. Tsuneishi
  • S. Kobayakawa
  • N. Fujikawa
  • M. Nabeyama
  • S.-i. Kohno


It is known that in eight hagfishes chromosome elimination occurs during early embryogenesis. The eliminated chromosomes are mostly C-band positive, so that none of the somatic cells have any C-band-positive chromatin. Recently, some highly repetitive DNA sequences have been reported as eliminated elements in these hagfishes based on molecular biological methods. However, no germline-restricted repetitive DNA have been directly isolated from the Japanese hagfish Eptatretus burgeri, from which approximately 21% of the total DNA is eliminated from presumptive somatic cells. Through electrophoretic investigation after digestion with restriction endonucleases, two DNA families that are restricted to germline DNA were isolated. Molecular cloning and sequence analysis revealed that these families are composed of closely related sequences of 64 and 57 bp in length, respectively. Southern blot hybridization revealed that the two DNA families are restricted to germline DNA and were thus named EEEb1 and EEEb2, respectively. Moreover, these eliminated elements were highly and tandemly repeated, and it is predicted that they might amplify by saltatory replication and have evolved in a concerted manner. By densitometric scanning, EEEb1 and EEEb2 were found to amount to make up approximately 18.5 and 0.024% of the total germline genomic DNA, accounting for 88.6% of the total eliminated DNA. A fluorescence in situ hybridization experiment demonstrated that EEEb1 is located on all C-band-positive chromosomes that are limited to germ cells, suggesting that EEEb1 is the primary component of eliminated DNA of E. burgeri.

chromosome elimination concerted evolution hagfish repeated sequences saltatory replication 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Kubota
    • 1
  • J.-i. Takano
    • 2
  • R. Tsuneishi
    • 2
  • S. Kobayakawa
    • 2
  • N. Fujikawa
    • 2
  • M. Nabeyama
    • 2
  • S.-i. Kohno
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceToho UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceToho UniversityChibaJapan

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