Genomic characterization and chromosomal mapping of 5 river buffalo skeletal muscle differentiation master genes

M. Strazzullo, C. Rossetti, G. Fusco, C. Campanile, D. Vecchio, G. Campanile, A. Perucatti, G. P. Di Meo, F. Filippini, A. Eggen, L. Ferrara, M. D'Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


River buffalo (Bubalus bubalis, 2n = 50, BBU) is a species of economic relevance in a number of countries. This species shows a very peculiar biology and a great capacity for environmental adaptation. There has been an increasing economic interest as well as a growing demand for a more detailed knowledge of molecular features in this species. From this perspective we report a genomic, transcriptional and cytogenetic analysis of 5 master genes involved in skeletal muscle development. Of these 5 genes, MYOD1, MYF5, MYF6 and MYOG belong to the basic helix-loop helix protein family while MSTN belongs to the TNF-B protein family. In mammals, these genes are involved in the early stages of skeletal muscle differentiation, development and regeneration. These pivotal biological functions are finely regulated in a tissue- and temporal-specific manner. We used a comparative genomic approach to obtain the buffalo specific sequences of MYOD1 and MYF6. The nucleotide sequence similarity and the protein domain conservation of the newly obtained sequences are analysed with respect to bovine and other mammalian species showing sequence similarity. The presence of a polymorphism in MYOD1 coding sequence is described and its possible effect discussed. Using a quantitative PCR approach, we compared the level of the 5 transcripts in adult and fetal muscle. These genes were physically localised on river buffalo R-banded chromosomes by FISH using bovine genomic BAC-clones. Here, we present a genomic and cytogenetic analysis which could offer a background to better characterise the buffalo genes involved in muscle function and which may be responsible for buffalo-specific meat features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalCytogenetic and Genome Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • BHLH
  • Comparative genomics
  • FISH
  • River buffalo
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Molecular Biology


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