Structural organization and chromosomal location of the chicken α-amylase gene family

Bernhard F. Benkel, Thuy Nguyen, Yasuhiro Uno, Federico A Ponce de León, Donal A. Hickey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Characterization of the Gallus gallus α-amylase gene family revealed that the chicken genome contains two distinct amy loci. One of the two loci is expressed in the chicken pancreas while cDNA clones for the second locus were detected in a library constructed from liver mRNA. Fluorescent in situ hybridization to chromosome spreads showed that the two loci are both located on chromosome 8 within the chicken genome. Moreover, each locus contains both an intact, expressed gene copy as well as a pseudogene. The expressed gene and the pseudogene are arranged in a divergent configuration in the pancreatic amy locus, while in the hepatic locus the intact gene and the pseudogene are arranged in tandem. The data suggest a complex pattern of evolution for the chicken amylase gene family which includes multiple gene duplication events, insertion/deletion events, as well as changes in spatial expression patterns. Crown

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 5 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Genomic DNA from a White Leghorn chicken of the USDA chicken mapping reference population was provided by L.B. Crittenden, Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory, East Lansing, MI. This work was supported by an NSERC Operating Grant to D.A.H. The authors wish to thank Nav Ahluwalia, Centre for Food and Animal Research of Agirculture and Agri-Food Canada, as well as Tseten Drawu, Kelsey Prenevost, and Edith Valle of the Lethbridge Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for assistance in the production of DNA sequence used in the preparation of this manuscript.


  • Fluorescent in situ hybridzation
  • Gene duplication
  • Pseudogenes


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