Gene content and density in banana [Musa acuminata] as revealed by genomic sequencing of BAC clones

  • Aert R
  • Sági L
  • Volckaert G
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The complete sequence of Musa acuminata bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones is presented and, consequently, the first analysis of the banana genome organization. One clone (MuH9) is 82,723 bp long with an overall G+C content of 38.2%. Twelve putative protein-coding sequences were identified, representing a gene density of one per 6.9 kb, which is slightly less than that previously reported for Arabidopsis but similar to rice. One coding sequence was identified as a partial M. acuminata malate synthase, while the remaining sequences showed a similarity to predicted or hypothetical proteins identified in genome sequence data. A second BAC clone (MuG9) is 73,268 bp long with an overall G+C content of 38.5%. Only seven putative coding regions were discovered, representing a gene density of only one gene per 10.5 kb, which is strikingly lower than that of the first BAC. One coding sequence showed significant homology to the soybean ribonucleotide reductase (large subunit). A transition point between coding regions and repeated sequences was found at approximately 45 kb, separating the coding upstream BAC end from its downstream end that mainly contained transposon-like sequences and regions similar to known repetitive sequences of M. acuminata. This gene organization resembles Gramineae genome sequences, where genes are clustered in gene-rich regions separated by gene-poor DNA containing abundant transposons.

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  • R. Aert

  • L. Sági

  • G. Volckaert

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