Comparative mapping, or ascertaining the gene linkage relationships between different species, is rapidly developing. This is possible because new techniques in chromosome identification and somatic cell hybridization, such as the generation of hybrids preferentially segregating chromosomes of any desired species including rodents, and the development of gene transfer techniques have yielded new information about the human and rodent gene maps. In addition, the discovery and characterization of mouse subspecies has generated new mouse sexual genetic linkage data. The following picture is emerging. Several X-linked genes in man are X-linked in all mammalian species tested. The linkage relationships of several tightly linked genes, less than 1 map unit apart, are also conserved in all mammalian species tested. Ape autosomal genes are assigned to ape chromosomes homologous to their human counterparts indicating extensive conservation in the 12 million years (MYR) of evolution from apes to man. Similarly, mouse and rat, 10 MYR apart in evolution, have several large autosomal synteny groups conserved. In comparing the mouse and human gene maps we find that human genes assigned to different arms of the same human chromosome are unlinked in the mouse; mouse genes large map distances (20 to 45 cM) apart are very likely to be unlinked in the human. However, several autosomal synteny groups 10 to 20 cM apart, including thePgd, Eno-1, Pgm-1 group on human chromosome arm lp, are conserved in mice and man. This suggests that homology mapping, the superimposition of one species gene map on the homologous conserved portion of another species genome may be possible, and that ancestral autosomal synteny groups should be detectable.
Key wordscomparative mapping chromosomes hybrid cells evolution
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