Meeting Abstract

P2.44  Thursday, Jan. 5  Cloning and Characterization of the Vasa Gene in the Mangrove Killifish, Kryptolebias marmoratus PERRY, J.L.*; RING, B.C.; Valdosta State University

The mangrove killifish is unique among vertebrates because it reproduces by self-fertilization, primarily as hermaphrodites. It is a powerful research model because isogenic lineages can be produced by continual self-crossing in the laboratory. The molecular and environmental factors that control sex determination in this species are unknown. Here, we describe the cloning and characterization of the primary germ cell marker gene, vasa. The cloned transcript Kmvas is 2.1 Kb and encodes for a 642 aa protein. Based on protein homology, Kmvas is most closely related to the pacific blue-fin tuna. Whereas nucleotide alignments of the highly conserved DEAD-box domain of Kmvas demonstrate the mangrove killifish is most closely related to Medaka and the Japanese jack mackerel. Further, we are analyzing the spatial and temporal patterns of Kmvas expression during embryogenesis and within the developing ovotestis.