Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (1): 73-80, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.010

Intronic sequences of the silkworm strains of Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae): High variability and potential for strain identification

Kee Young KIM1, Eun Lee MEE2, In Lee HEE2, Mee Hong YEON3, Pil Don KANG1, Kwang Ho CHOI1, Zhong Zheng GUI4, Byung Rae JIN5, Jae Sam HWANG1, Kang Sun RYU1, Yeon Soo HAN3, Iksoo KIM*,3
1 Department of Agricultural Biology, The National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, Suwon 441-100, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Life Science, Hoseo University, Asan-city, Chungchungnam-do 336-795, Republic of Korea
3 College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea
4 Sericultural Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhenjiang 212018, China
5 College of Natural Resources and Life Science, Dong-A University, Busan 604-714, Republic of Korea

We sequenced nine introns of 25 silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) strains, assuming that the introns are particularly prone to mutation. Mean sequence divergence and maximum sequence divergence in each intronic sequence among 25 silkworm strains ranged from 0.81% (3.8 nucleotides) ~ 9.15% (85.2 nucleotides) and 1.2% (seven nucleotides) ~ 39.3% (366 nucleotides), respectively. The degree of sequence divergence in some introns is very variable, suggesting the potential of using intronic sequences for strain identification. In particular, some introns were highly promising and convenient strain markers due to the presence of a large indels (e.g., 403 bp and 329 bp) in only a limited number of strains. Phylogenetic analysis using the individual or the nine concatenated intronic sequences showed no clustering on the basis of known strain characteristics. This may further indicate the potential of the intronic sequences for the identification of silkworm strains.

Keywords: Silkworm, Bombyx mori, intronic sequence, strain identification, genetic variation

Received: June 20, 2007; Accepted: July 26, 2007; Published: February 15, 2008

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