Worm Breeder's Gazette 8(3): 80
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.
We have previously described a protocol by which we mapped Bergerac Tc1 elements near lin-14 X (Newsletter Vol. 8 No. 1). We reported then that three Tc1 elements mapped to within 0.2 map units of lin-14. However, by higher resolution gel electrophoresis and Southern blot analysis we have now found that in fact seven Bergerac Tc1 elements map within this genetic interval. We cloned the EcoRI restriction fragments that contain five of these Tc1 elements into phage lambda- gt7 and used unique flanking DNA segments from each of these clones to identify overlapping cosmids in two independent genomic C. elegans strain N2 Bristol libraries, one constructed by Guy Benian (in Bob Waterston's laboratory) and the other by John Sulston. Contiguous stretches of DNA ('contigs') as defined by overlapping cosmids were established either by traditional chromosomal walking (a total of about 200 Kb) or by telephoning to John Sulston and Alan Coulson the microtitre well addresses in the library of cosmids of interest. John and Alan then kindly fingerprinted these cosmid clones (see Newsletter Vol. 8 No. 2) and in many cases found overlaps with extant contigs in their collection of cosmid fingerprints and contigs. By this combination of approaches we established contigs around each of the five Tc1 elements ranging in length from approximately 50 to 180 Kb and totalling about 400 Kb. Because the contigs isolated begin with restriction fragments genetically mapping very close to each other, we expected that the expanding contigs would overlap as new cosmids were added in the chromosomal walk. By calculation, 0.1 map unit represents about 30 Kb of DNA, so that the seven Tc1 elements within 0.2 map units should have been within 60 Kb of each other. In fact, no two of the five contigs have yet overlapped, so that the simple assumption of 300 Kb of DNA per genetic map unit is incorrect in this genetic interval. It was clear from these data that the resolution achieved using recombinants within a 1 map unit interval was not sufficient to limit or orient our chromosomal walk around lin-14. We therefore designed an experiment in which a much rarer recombination event between a Bristol chromosome containing two lin-14 mutations and the Bergerac lin-14 region could be detected. This experiment allowed the Bergerac Tc1 dimorphisms near lin-14 to be ordered relative to a recombination point that by definition occurred within lin-14. The double mutant lin-14 allele used was n536 n540; n536 is a semidominant allele, and n540 is a recessive intragenic suppressor of n536. The lin-14 allele was placed in trans to an X chromosome containing the Bristol chromosome from near dpy-6 to the left, a region of the Bergerac chromosome flanking lin-14(Bergerac) and containing all of the Tc1 elements near lin-14(Bergerac), and the Bristol chromosome from near unc-9 to the right. A total of 10+E4 to 10+E5 animals of the genotype lin-14(n536 n540)/dpy-6 lin-14(Bergerac) eened for the n5367+ or n536/n536 n540 heterozygote phenotype of Lon, Egl, and Vul. One such animal was found. Subsequent progeny tests showed this animal to be of the genotype dpy-6 36)/lin-14(n536 n540), showing that n540 maps to the left of n536 on the genetic map. DNA was prepared from homozygous dpy-6 36) recombinant animals and by Southern blot analysis with a Tc1 probe shown to be missing just one of the Tc1 elements ('b,' see map below) near lin-14(Bergerac), mapping this element to the right of lin-14.About 50 Kb on one side and 130 Kb on the other side of Tc1 element b had already been cloned by chromosome walking; therefore it was possible that even though Tc1 element b maps to the right of the lin-14 intragenic recombination point, a cosmid at either extreme of this 180 Kb contig could map to the left of this recombination point. Cosmids from both ends of the contig were used as probes in Southern blot analyses of DNAs isolated from the Bristol, the Bergerac, and the lin-14 intragenic recombinant strains to search for Bristol/Bergerac restriction fragment length dimorphisms that could be mapped relative to lin-14. One cosmid, KKH9, at one end of contig b about 40 Kb from Tc1 element b, was found to identify a Bristol/Bergerac XhoI site dimorphism that mapped to the left of Tc1 element b, based upon the presence of the Bergerac XhoI fragment length dimorphism in the lin-14 intragenic recombinant strain. Therefore, the lin-14 recombination point and presumably at least part of the lin-14 gene is located between Tc1 element b on the right and the KKH9 defined XhoI site on the left. Cosmid KKH9 was then used to screen DNA from 20 other lin-14 mutants for restriction fragment length polymorphisms using a variety of restriction enzymes. Polymorphisms were detected in DNAs isolated from mutants carrying three lin-14 alleles, including one allele isolated after EMS mutagenesis and two after gamma ray mutagenesis. In fact n536 (as well as n536 n540) has an associated BglII restriction fragment length polymorphism, which has also been detected in the dpy-6 36) intragenic recombinant strain, thus defining the recombination point in this strain and at least part of lin-14 to be located to the left of this BglII restriction fragment. These data strongly suggest -- but do not prove -- that we have cloned at least part of lin-14. We are now preparing to attempt to definitively establish that we have cloned lin-14 by microinjecting the clone into lin-14 mutant strains to rescue the mutant phenotype. Unfortunately this protocol can prove but not disprove our conjecture. [See Figure 1]