Worm Breeder's Gazette 10(3): 41

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Notes on the DNA Sequence of Most of the ben-1 Gene

Monica Driscoll, Elke Bergholz and Martin Chalfie

Figure 1

The ben-1 gene encodes one of the four (or so) C.  elegans  -
tubulins.  All mutations that confer resistance to the antimicrotubule 
drug benomyl map to this locus.  The ben-1-encoded  -tubulin is not 
essential for C.  elegans coordination or viability since animals 
harboring deletions of the ben-1 gene appear wild-type in growth and 
We have sequenced all but the very 3' end of the ben-1 gene.  408 of 
approximately 450 amino acids are represented.  (The sequence data is 
available upon request).  In Genbank, the deduced protein sequence is 
most homologous to a human  -tubulin (showing 93% identity, with all 
amino acid changes conservative).  Comparison to other C.  elegans  -
tubulins indicates that ben-1 is 96% identical to the tub-1 gene 
sequenced by L.  Gremke and J.  Culotti.  ben-1 shares 87% identity 
with the mec-7-encoded  -tubulin.  The C.  elegans  -tubulin gene 
organization can be summarized as 
[See Figure 1]
ben-1 and tub-1 are similar in organization of coding regions, 
whereas mec-7 differs markedly in the relative positioning of exons 
and introns.  The ben-1 gene contains two relatively long introns, of 
973 and 809 bp.  
The putative splice sites in ben-1 conform to consensus C.  elegans 
splice sequences.  Interestingly, there is a potential splice acceptor 
site upstream of the AUG initiator codon.  We are concerned that the 
sequenced 350bp 5' to the translational start may not include the 
promoter for this gene.  Possibly, the message may acquire a trans-
spliced leader.  The DNA sequence of the 5' region in a ben-1 cDNA 
should clarify the transcript structure.

Figure 1