Bovine chromosome 23 (BTA23) contains the bovine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and is thus of particular interest because of the role of MHC genes in immunity. Previous studies have shown cattle MHC class II genes to be subdivided into two distinct subregions separated by a variable genetic distance of 15-30 cM. To elucidate the genetic events that resulted in the present organization of the class II and other MHC genes, a framework radiation hybrid (RH) map of BTA23 was developed by testing DNA samples from a 5000 rad whole genome RH panel. Twenty-six markers were screened with an average retention frequency of 0.27, ranging from 0.14 to 0.42. Total length of the chromosome was 220 cR5000, with 4.1 cR5000/cM when compared to linkage data. Gene orders for the markers common to both the RH framework map and the consensus framework linkage map are identical. Large centiray intervals, D23S23-D23S7, DYA-D23S24 and CYP21- D23S31, were observed compared to linkage distances. These data may indicate a much larger physical distance or suppression of recombination in the interval separating the class II subregions and also within the class I region than previously estimated. Comparison of 13 Type I genes conserved between BTA23 and the human homolog HSA6p suggests the occurrence of an inversion encompassing the centromeric half of the bovine chromosome, thus explaining the large distance between the bovine class IIa and IIb clusters. These results exemplify the power of RH mapping in solving problems in comparative genomics and evolution. Furthermore, noncongruence of the genetic and physical RH map distances indicates that caution must be observed in using either resource alone in searching for candidate genes controlling traits of economic importance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas