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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Organization and differential expression of the GACA/GATA tagged somatic and spermatozoal transcriptomes in Buffalo Bubalus bubalis

Jyoti Srivastava, Sanjay Premi, Sudhir Kumar and Sher Ali*

Author Affiliations

Molecular Genetics Laboratory, National Institute of Immunology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi-110 067, India

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:132  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-132

Published: 20 March 2008



Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) of GACA/GATA have been implicated with differentiation of sex-chromosomes and speciation. However, the organization of these repeats within genomes and transcriptomes, even in the best characterized organisms including human, remains unclear. The main objective of this study was to explore the buffalo transcriptome for its association with GACA/GATA repeats, and study the structural organization and differential expression of the GACA/GATA repeat tagged transcripts. Moreover, the distribution of GACA and GATA repeats in the prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes was studied to highlight their significance in genome evolution.


We explored several genomes and transcriptomes, and observed total absence of these repeats in the prokaryotes, with their gradual accumulation in higher eukaryotes. Further, employing novel microsatellite associated sequence amplification (MASA) approach using varying length oligos based on GACA and GATA repeats; we identified and characterized 44 types of known and novel mRNA transcripts tagged with these repeats from different somatic tissues, gonads and spermatozoa of water buffalo Bubalus bubalis. GACA was found to be associated with higher number of transcripts compared to that with GATA. Exclusive presence of several GACA-tagged transcripts in a tissue or spermatozoa, and absence of the GATA-tagged ones in lung/heart highlights their tissue-specific significance. Of all the GACA/GATA tagged transcripts, ~30% demonstrated inter-tissue and/or tissue-spermatozoal sequence polymorphisms. Significantly, ~60% of the GACA-tagged and all the GATA-tagged transcripts showed highest or unique expression in the testis and/or spermatozoa. Moreover, ~75% GACA-tagged and all the GATA-tagged transcripts were found to be conserved across the species.


Present study is a pioneer attempt exploring GACA/GATA tagged transcriptome in any mammalian species highlighting their tissue, stage and species-specific expression profiles. Comparative analysis suggests the gradual accumulation of these repeats in the higher eukaryotes, and establishes the GACA richness of the buffalo transcriptome. This is envisaged to establish the roles of integral simple sequence repeats and tagged transcripts in gene expression or regulation.