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Open Access Research article

Regions of XY homology in the pig X chromosome and the boundary of the pseudoautosomal region

Benjamin M Skinner, Kim Lachani, Carole A Sargent and Nabeel A Affara*

Author affiliations

Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QP, UK

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Citation and License

BMC Genetics 2013, 14:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-14-3

Published: 15 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Sex chromosomes are subject to evolutionary pressures distinct from the remainder of the genome, shaping their structure and sequence content. We are interested in the sex chromosomes of domestic pigs (Sus scrofa), how their structure and gene content compares and contrasts with other mammalian species, and the role of sex-linked genes in fertility. This requires an understanding of the XY-homologous sequence on these chromosomes.

To this end, we performed microarray-based comparative genomic hybridisation (array-CGH) with male and female Duroc genomic DNA on a pig X-chromosome BAC tiling-path microarray. Putative XY-homologous BACs from regions of interest were subsequently FISH mapped.

Results

We show that the porcine PAR is approximately 6.5-6.9 Mb at the beginning of the short arm of the X, with gene content reflective of the artiodactyl common ancestor. Our array-CGH data also shows an XY-homologous region close to the end of the X long arm, spanning three X BACs. These BACs were FISH mapped, and paint the entire long arm of SSCY. Further clones of interest revealed X-autosomal homology or regions containing repetitive content.

Conclusions

This study has identified regions of XY homology in the pig genome, and defined the boundary of the PAR on the X chromosome. This adds to our understanding of the evolution of the sex chromosomes in different mammalian lineages, and will prove valuable for future comparative genomic work in suids and for the construction and annotation of the genome sequence for the sex chromosomes. Our finding that the SSCYq repetitive content has corresponding sequence on the X chromosome gives further insight into structure of SSCY, and suggests further functionally important sequences remain to be discovered on the X and Y.

Keywords:
X-chromosome; Genome; Porcine; Evolution; Microarray; Pseudoautosomal