Hox gene complexity in medaka fish may be similar to that in pufferfish rather than zebrafish

Gene Kurosawa, Kouji Yamada, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Hiroshi Hori

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in number and the genomic organization of Hox genes have played an important role in metazoan body-plan evolution. They make cluster(s), and in vertebrates, each cluster contains different number of Hox genes that have been classified into 13 groups. There are 39 Hox genes in four clusters on different chromosomes in the mammalian genome. In the fish, while 31 Hox genes in four clusters have been identified in pufferfish Fugu rubripes, 47 Hox genes in seven clusters exist in the zebrafish Danio rerio. To estimate the evolutionary origin of Hox organization in ray-finned fishes, we searched for Hox genes in the medaka fish Oryzias latipes, with a taxon thought to be widely separated from those of pufferfish and zebrafish. We synthesized various mixed oligonucleotides that can work as group-specific primers for PCR, then cloned and sequenced amplified fragments. Numbers of Hox genes identified in the present study were 2 for group 1, 2 for group 2, 1 for group 3, 3 for group 4, 6 for groups 5-7, 2 for group 8, 4 for group 9, 3 for group 10, 1 for group 12, and 3 for group 13. The primers specific for group 11 did not function in this study. Thus, at least 27 Hox genes are present in medaka genome, suggesting that the Hox gene complexity of the medaka genome is similar to that of the pufferfish rather than the zebrafish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24-06-1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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