School of BioSciences - Research Publications

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    UV microbeam irradiations of the mitotic spindle. II. Spindle fiber dynamics and force production.
    Spurck, TP ; Stonington, OG ; Snyder, JA ; Pickett-Heaps, JD ; Bajer, A ; Mole-Bajer, J (Rockefeller University Press, 1990-10)
    Metaphase and anaphase spindles in cultured newt and PtK1 cells were irradiated with a UV microbeam (285 nM), creating areas of reduced birefringence (ARBs) in 3 s that selectively either severed a few fibers or cut across the half spindle. In either case, the birefringence at the polewards edge of the ARB rapidly faded polewards, while it remained fairly constant at the other, kinetochore edge. Shorter astral fibers, however, remained present in the enlarged ARB; presumably these had not been cut by the irradiation. After this enlargement of the ARB, metaphase spindles recovered rapidly as the detached pole moved back towards the chromosomes, reestablishing spindle fibers as the ARB closed; this happened when the ARB cut a few fibers or across the entire half spindle. We never detected elongation of the cut kinetochore fibers. Rather, astral fibers growing from the pole appeared to bridge and then close the ARB, just before the movement of the pole toward the chromosomes. When a second irradiation was directed into the closing ARB, the polewards movement again stopped before it restarted. In all metaphase cells, once the pole had reestablished connection with the chromosomes, the unirradiated half spindle then also shortened to create a smaller symmetrical spindle capable of normal anaphase later. Anaphase cells did not recover this way; the severed pole remained detached but the chromosomes continued a modified form of movement, clumping into a telophase-like group. The results are discussed in terms of controls operating on spindle microtubule stability and mechanisms of mitotic force generation.
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    Cytogenetic differentiation between Palearctic and Nearctic populations of Chironomus plumosus L-(Diptera, Chironomidae)
    Butler, MG ; Kiknadze, II ; Golygina, VV ; Martin, J ; Istomina, AG ; Wulker, WF ; Sublette, JE ; Sublette, MF (NRC Research Press, 1999-10-01)
    Macrogeographic patterns of chromosomal banding sequences were studied in natural populations of the Holarctic species Chironomus plumosus. Of the 31 inversion sequences now known, 16 are endemic to the Palearctic, 7 are endemic to the Nearctic, and 8 are Holarctic sequences common to both zoogeographic zones. Differences in the sets of inversion sequences found on each continent, plus differing frequencies of Holarctic sequences, result in great overall divergence of karyotypes on the two continents. The karyotype of Nearctic C. plumosus differs from that of Palearctic populations primarily by the presence of a homozygous Nearctic sequence in arm A (n'plu A9), along with fixation (h'plu C2, h'plu E2, and h'plu F1), or high frequency (h'plu D2), of Holarctic sequences which are present but less frequent in the Palearctic. Although long continental isolation has led to great divergence of karyotypes on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, all populations of C. plumosus show sufficient cytogenetic similarity to constitute a single Holarctic species.
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    A variable intron distribution in globin genes of Chironomus: evidence for recent intron gain
    Hankeln, T ; Friedl, H ; Ebersberger, I ; Martin, J ; Schmidt, ER (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 1997-12-31)
    The intron positions found in globin genes of plants, protozoa and invertebrates have been interpreted as evidence for a three-intron-four-exon structure of the ancestral globin gene. In particular, the so-called 'central' introns, which are not found in vertebrate globin genes but are present in a variety of invertebrate and plant species, have been used as an argument for an ancestral gene structure featuring three introns. We have analyzed the presence or absence of central introns in the Gb genes 2beta, 9 and 7A of various European and Australasian species of the insect Chironomus. We find unrelated central introns at different positions in some of the species investigated, while other species completely lack introns in these genes. This variable distribution of introns is parsimoniously explained by independent intron additions. Such a gain of introns may occur convergently at identical positions in unrelated taxa. Insertion by gene conversion may be a viable mechanism to explain intron gain.
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    Extraordinary conservation of cysteines among homologous Chironomus silk proteins sp185 and sp220
    Case, ST ; Cox, C ; Bell, WC ; Hoffman, RT ; Martin, J ; Hamilton, R (SPRINGER VERLAG, 1997-04-01)
    Aquatic larvae of the midge, Chironomus tentans, synthesize a 185-kDa silk protein (sp185) with the cysteine-containing motif Cys-X-Cys-X-Cys (where X is any residue) every 20-28 residues. We report here the cloning and full-length sequence of cDNAs encoding homologous silk proteins from Chironomus pallidivittatus (sp185) and Chironomus thummi (sp220). Deduced amino acid sequences reveal proteins of nearly identical mass composed of 72 blocks of 20-28 residues, 61% of which can be described by the motif X5-8-Cys-X5-(Trp/Phe/Tyr)-X4-Cys-X-Cys-X-Cys. Spatial arrangement of these residues is preserved more than surrounding sequences. cDNA clones enabled us to map the genes on polytene chromosomes and identify for the first time the homolog of the Camptochironomus Balbiani ring 3 locus in Chironomus thummi. The apparent molecular weight difference between these proteins (185 vs 220 kDa) is not attributable to primary structure and may be due to differential N-linked glycosylation. DNA distances and codon substitutions indicate that the C. tentans and C. pallidivittatus genes are more related to each other than either is to C. thummi; however, substitution rates for the 5'- and 3'-halves of these genes are different. Blockwise sequence comparisons suggest intragenic variation in that some regions evolved slower or faster than the mean and may have been subjected to different selective pressures.
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    An annotated bibliography of the cytogenetics of the Chironomidae (Diptera)
    Martin, J (The Natural History Museum, 1996)
    Bibliography of 1313 references pertaining to the cytogenetics of Chironomidae up to the end of 1990
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    INSITU HYBRIDIZATION TO PRE-FIXED POLYTENE CHROMOSOMES
    MARTIN, J (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 1990-08-01)
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    A SEX-INFLUENCED PROTEIN IN CHIRONOMUS (DIPTERA)
    FABB, SA ; CHEONG, MF ; LEE, BTO ; MARTIN, J (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 1990-01-01)