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Synthetic lethal analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans posterior embryonic patterning genes identifies conserved genetic interactions

Baugh, L. Ryan and Wen, Joanne C. and Hill, Andrew A. and Slonim, Donna K. and Brown, Eugene L. and Hunter, Craig P. (2005) Synthetic lethal analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans posterior embryonic patterning genes identifies conserved genetic interactions. Genome Biology, 6 (R45). ISSN 1465-6906. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BAUgb05

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Abstract

Phenotypic robustness is evidenced when single-gene mutations do not result in an obvious phenotype. It has been suggested that such phenotypic stability results from 'buffering' activities of homologous genes as well as non-homologous genes acting in parallel pathways. One approach to characterizing mechanisms of phenotypic robustness is to identify genetic interactions, specifically, double mutants where buffering is compromised. To identify interactions among genes implicated in posterior patterning of the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo, we measured synthetic lethality following RNA interference of 22 genes in 15 mutant strains. A pair of homologous T-box transcription factors (tbx-8 and tbx-9) is found to interact in both C. elegans and C. briggsae, indicating that their compensatory function is conserved. Furthermore, a muscle module is defined by transitive interactions between the MyoD homolog hlh-1, another basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, hnd-1, and the MADS-box transcription factor unc-120. Genetic interactions within a homologous set of genes involved in vertebrate myogenesis indicate broad conservation of the muscle module and suggest that other genetic modules identified in C. elegans will be conserved.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© 2005 Baugh et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. We thank the Kimble lab for providing strain JK3276, and the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center for providing the other strains used in this work. This work was funded by an NIH grant GM64429 to C.P.H.
Subject Keywords:Genetics, Development, Model organisms, Evolution, C. elegans
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BAUgb05
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BAUgb05
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2005-6-5-r45
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:479
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:22 Jun 2005
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 08:40

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