The end of a single strand of DNA or RNA at which the chain of nucleotides terminates at the third carbon atom in the furanose ring of deoxyribose or ribose (i.e. the terminus at which the 3' carbon is not attached to another nucleotide via a phosphodiester bond; in vivo, the 3' carbon is often still bonded to a hydroxyl group). By convention, sequences and structures positioned nearer to the 3'-end relative to others are referred to as downstream. Contrast 5'-end.
A ribose ring with the carbon atoms numbered 1' through 5' according to chemical convention. The 5' carbon is said to be upstream; the 3' carbon is said to be downstream. Bonds to a generic base and a phosphate group are also shown.
The end of a single strand of DNA or RNA at which the chain of nucleotides terminates at the fifth carbon atom in the furanose ring of deoxyribose or ribose (i.e. the terminus at which the 5' carbon is not attached to another nucleotide via a phosphodiester bond; in vivo, the 5' carbon is often still bonded to a phosphate group). By convention, sequences and structures positioned nearer to the 5'-end relative to others are referred to as upstream. Contrast 3'-end.
Any pair of organisms which are related genetically and both affected by the same trait. For example, two cousins who both have blue eyes are an affected relative pair since they are both affected by the allele that codes for blue eyes.
One of multiple alternative versions of an individual gene, each of which is a viable DNA sequence occupying a given position, or locus, on a chromosome. For example, in humans, one allele of the eye-color gene produces blue eyes and another allele of the eye-color gene produces brown eyes.
The relative frequency with which a particular allele of a given gene (as opposed to other alleles of the same gene) occurs at a particular locus in the members of a population; more specifically, it is the proportion of all chromosomes within a population that carry a particular allele, expressed as a fraction or percentage. Allele frequency is distinct from genotype frequency, although they are related.
An organic compound containing amine and carboxylfunctional groups, as well as a side chain specific to each individual amino acid. Out of nearly 500 known amino acids, a set of 20 are coded for by the standard genetic code and incorporated in sequence as the building blocks of polypeptides and hence of proteins. The specific sequence of amino acids in the polypeptide chains that form a protein are ultimately responsible for determining the protein's structure and function.
The condition of a cell or organism having an abnormal number of one or more specific individual chromosomes (but excluding abnormal numbers of complete sets of chromosomes, which instead is known as euploidy).
A series of three consecutive nucleotides within a transfer RNA which complement the three nucleotides of a codon within an mRNA transcript. During translation, each tRNA recruited to the ribosome contains a single anticodon triplet that pairs with one or more complementary codons from the mRNA sequence, allowing each codon to specify a particular amino acid to be added to the growing peptide chain. Anticodons containing inosine in the first position are capable of pairing with more than one codon due to a phenomenon known as wobble base pairing.
The orientation of two strands of a double-stranded nucleic acid (and more generally any pair of biopolymers) which are parallel to each other but with opposite directionality. For example, the two complementary strands of a DNA molecule run side-by-side but in opposite directions, with one strand oriented 5'-to-3' and the other 3'-to-5'.
Any chromosome that is not an allosome and hence is not involved in the determination of the sex of an organism. Unlike the sex chromosomes, the autosomes in a diploid cell exist in pairs, with the members of each pair having the same structure, morphology, and genetic loci.
The breeding of a hybrid organism with one of its parents or an individual genetically similar to one of its parents, often intentionally as a type of selective breeding, with the aim of producing offspring with a genetic identity which is closer to that of the parent. The reproductive event and the resulting progeny are both referred to as a backcross, often abbreviated in genetics shorthand with the symbol BC.
A measure of the gene expression level of a gene or genes prior to a perturbation in an experiment, as in a negative control. Baseline expression may also refer to the expected or historical measure of expression for a gene.
The ability of a population to consistently produce the same phenotype regardless of the variability of its environment or the genetic variation within its genome. The concept is most often used in developmental biology to interpret the observation that developmental pathways are frequently shaped by natural selection such that developing cell lineages are "guided" or "canalized" towards a single, definite fate, regardless of any minor variations that may disturb the cells during development.
A gene whose location on a chromosome is associated with a particular phenotype (often a disease-related phenotype), and which is therefore suspected of causing or contributing to the phenotype. Candidate genes are often selected for study based on a priori knowledge or speculation about their functional relevance to the trait or disease being researched.
An individual who has inherited a recessiveallele for a genetic trait or mutation but in whom the trait is not usually expressed or observable in the phenotype. Carriers are usually heterozygous for the recessive allele and therefore still able to pass the allele onto their offspring, where the associated phenotype may reappear if the offspring inherits another copy of the allele. The term is commonly used in medical genetics in the context of a disease-causing recessive allele.
A unit for measuring genetic linkage defined as the distance between chromosomal loci for which the expected average number of intervening chromosomal crossovers in a single generation is 0.01. Though it is not an actual measure of physical distance, it is used to infer the distance between two loci based on the apparent likelihood of a crossover occurring between them.
The presence of two or more populations of cells with distinct genotypes in an individual organism, known as a chimera, which has developed from the fusion of cells originating from separate zygotes; each population of cells retains its own genome, such that the organism as a whole is a mixture of genetically non-identical tissues. Genetic chimerism may be inherited (e.g. by the fusion of multiple embryos during pregnancy) or acquired after birth (e.g. by allogeneic transplantation of cells, tissues, or organs from a genetically non-identical donor); in plants, it can result from grafting or errors in cell division. It is similar to but distinct from mosaicism.
A complex of DNA, RNA, and protein found in eukaryotic cells that is the primary substance comprising chromosomes. Chromatin functions as a means of packaging very long DNA molecules into highly organized and densely compacted shapes, which prevents the strands from becoming tangled, reinforces the DNA during cell division, helps to prevent DNA damage, and plays an important role in regulating gene expression and DNA replication.
A DNA molecule containing part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Chromosomes may be considered a sort of molecular "package" for carrying DNA within the nucleus of cells and, in most eukaryotes, are composed of long strands of DNA coiled with packaging proteins which bind to and condense the strands to prevent them from becoming an unmanageable tangle. Chromosomes are most easily distinguished and studied in their completely condensed forms, which only occur during cell division. Some simple organisms have only one chromosome made of circular DNA, while most eukaryotes have multiple chromosomes made of linear DNA.
The branch of genetics based solely on observation of the visible results of reproductive acts, as opposed to that made possible by the modern techniques and methodologies of molecular biology. Contrast molecular genetics.
The process of producing, either naturally or artificially, individual organisms or cells which are genetically identical to each other. Clones are the result of all forms of asexual reproduction, and cells that undergo mitosis produce daughter cells that are clones of the parent cell and of each other. Cloning may also refer to biotechnology methods which artificially create copies of organisms or cells, or, in molecular cloning, copies of DNA fragments or other molecules.
Also sense strand, positive (+) sense strand, and nontemplate strand.
The strand of a double-stranded DNA molecule whose nucleotide sequence corresponds directly to that of the RNA transcript produced during transcription (except that thymine bases are substituted with uracil bases in the RNA molecule). Though it is not itself transcribed, the coding strand is by convention the strand used when displaying a DNA sequence because of the direct analogy between its sequence and the codons of the RNA product. Contrast template strand; see also sense.
A series of three consecutive nucleotides in a coding region of a nucleic acid sequence. Each of these triplets codes for a particular amino acid or stop signal during protein synthesis. DNA and RNA molecules are each written in a language using four "letters" (four different nucleobases), but the language used to construct proteins includes 20 "letters" (20 different amino acids). Codons provide the key that allows these two languages to be translated into each other. In general, each codon corresponds to a single amino acid (or stop signal), and the full set of codons is called the genetic code.
A property of nucleic acidbiopolymers whereby two polymeric chains (or "strands") aligned antiparallel to each other will tend to form base pairs consisting of hydrogen bonds between the individual nucleobases comprising each chain, with each of the four types of nucleobase pairing exclusively with one other type of nucleobase; e.g. in double-strandedDNA molecules, A pairs only with T and C pairs only with G. Strands that are paired in such a way, and the bases themselves, are said to be complementary. The degree of complementarity between two strands strongly influences the stability of the duplex molecule; certain sequences may also be internally complementary, which can result in a single strand binding to itself. Complementarity is fundamental to the mechanisms governing DNA replication, transcription, and DNA repair.
An interdisciplinary branch of population genetics which applies genetic methods and concepts in an effort to understand the dynamics of genes in populations, principally in order to avoid extinctions and to conserve and restore biodiversity.
A nucleic acid or protein sequence that is highly similar or identical across many species or within a genome, indicating that it has remained relatively unchanged through a long period of evolutionary time.
The continuous transcription of a gene, as opposed to facultative expression, in which a gene is only transcribed as needed. A gene that is transcribed continuously is called a constitutive gene.
A phenomenon in which sections of a genome are repeated and the number of repeats varies between individuals in the population, usually as a result of duplication or deletion events that affect entire genes or sections of chromosomes. Copy-number variations play an important role in generating genetic variation within a population.
The breeding of purebred parents belonging to two different breeds, varieties, or populations, often intentionally as a type of selective breeding, with the aim of producing offspring which share traits of both parent lineages or which show heterosis. In animal breeding, the progeny of a cross between breeds of the same species is called a crossbreed, whereas the progeny of a cross between different species is called a hybrid.
A high-throughput technology used to measure expression levels of mRNA transcripts or to detect certain changes in the nucleotide sequence. It consists of an array of thousands of microscopic spots of DNAoligonucleotides, called features, each containing picomoles of a specific DNA sequence. This can be a short section of a gene or other DNA element that is used as a probe to hybridize a cDNA, cRNA or genomic DNA sample (called a target) under high-stringency conditions. Probe-target hybridization is usually detected and quantified by fluorescence-based detection of fluorophore-labeled targets.
Any of a class of enzymes that synthesizes DNA molecules from individual deoxyribonucleotides. DNA polymerases are essential for DNA replication and usually work in pairs to create identical copies of the two strands of an original double-stranded molecule. They build long chains of DNA by adding nucleotides one at a time to the 3'-end of a DNA strand, usually relying on the template provided by the complementary strand to copy the nucleotide sequence faithfully.
The collection of processes by which a cell identifies and corrects structural damage or mutations in the DNA molecules that encode its genome. The ability of a cell to repair its DNA is vital to the integrity of the genome and the normal functionality of the organism.
A relationship between the alleles of a gene in which one allele produces an effect on phenotype that overpowers or "masks" the contribution of another allele at the same locus; the first allele and its associated phenotypic trait are said to be dominant, and the second allele and its associated trait are said to be recessive. Often, the dominant allele codes for a functional protein while its recessive counterpart does not. Dominance is not an inherent property of any allele or phenotype, but simply describes its relationship to one or more other alleles or phenotypes; it is possible for one allele to be simultaneously dominant over a second allele, recessive to a third, and codominant to a fourth. In genetics shorthand, dominant alleles are often represented by a single uppercase letter (e.g. "A", in contrast to the recessive "a").
Any mechanism by which organisms neutralize the large difference in gene dosage caused by the presence of differing numbers of sex chromosomes in the different sexes, thereby equalizing the expression of sex-linked genes so that the members of each sex receive the same or similar amounts of the products of such genes. An example is X-inactivation in female mammals.
Any process, natural or artificial, which decreases the level of gene expression of a certain gene. A gene which is observed to be expressed at relatively low levels (such as by detecting lower levels of its mRNA transcripts) in one sample compared to another sample is said to be downregulated. Contrast upregulation.
1. Another name for a plasmid, especially one that is capable of integrating into a chromosome.
2. In eukaryotes, any non-integrated extrachromosomal circular DNA molecule that is stably maintained and replicated in the nucleus simultaneously with the rest of the host cell. Such molecules may include viral genomes, bacterial plasmids, and aberrant chromosomal fragments.
The condition of a cell or organism having an abnormal number of complete sets of chromosomes, possibly excluding the sex chromosomes. Euploidy differs from aneuploidy, in which a cell or organism has an abnormal number of one or more specific individual chromosomes.
The change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. In the most traditional sense, it occurs by changes in the frequencies of alleles in a population's gene pool.
Any part of a gene that encodes a part of the final mature mRNA produced by that gene after introns have been removed by alternative splicing. The term refers to both the sequence as it exists within a DNA molecule and to the corresponding sequence in RNA transcripts.
For a given genotype associated with a variable non-binary phenotype, the proportion of individuals with that genotype who show or express the phenotype to a specified extent, usually given as a percentage. Because of the many complex interactions that govern gene expression, the same allele may produce a wide variety of possible phenotypes of differing qualities or degrees in different individuals; in such cases, both the phenotype and genotype may be said to show variable expressivity. Expressivity attempts to quantify the range of possible levels of phenotypic variation in a population of individuals expressing the phenotype of interest. Compare penetrance.
The process by which a single allele for a particular gene with multiple different alleles increases in frequency in a given population such that it becomes permanently established at 100% frequency – that is, the only allele at that locus within the population's gene pool. In the absence of mutation and heterozygote advantage, any given allele is eventually destined to become either permanently fixed over all other variants or completely lost from the population, though how long this takes depends on selection pressures and chance fluctuations in allele frequencies.
A type of mutation in a nucleic acid sequence caused by the insertion or deletion of a number of nucleotides that is not divisible by three. Because of the triplet nature by which nucleotides code for amino acids, a mutation of this sort causes a shift in the reading frame of the nucleotide sequence, resulting in the sequence of codons downstream of the mutation site being completely different from the original.
Functional Genomics Data (FGED) Society
Formerly known by the abbreviation MGED.
An organization that works with others "to develop standards for biological research data quality, annotation and exchange" as well as software tools that facilitate their use.
A technique used in cytogenetics to produce a visible karyotype by staining the condensed chromosomes with Giemsa stain. The staining produces consistent and identifiable patterns of dark and light "bands" in regions of chromatin, which allows specific chromosomes to be easily distinguished.
Any segment or set of segments of a nucleic acid molecule that contains the information necessary to produce a functional RNA transcript in a controlled manner. In living organisms, genes are often considered the fundamental units of heredity and are typically encoded in DNA. A particular gene can have multiple different versions, or alleles, and a single gene can result in a gene product that influences many different phenotypes.
The process by which the information encoded in a gene is converted into a form useful for the cell. The first step is transcription, which produces a messenger RNA molecule complementary to the DNA molecule in which the gene is encoded. For protein-coding genes, the second step is translation, in which the messenger RNA is read by the ribosome to produce a protein.
Any of a variety of methods used to precisely identify the location of a particular gene within a DNA molecule (such as a chromosome) and/or the physical or linkage distances between it and other genes.
Any of the biochemical material resulting from the expression of a gene, most often interpreted as the functional mRNA transcript produced by transcription of the gene or the fully constructed protein produced by translation of the transcript. A measurement of the quantity of a given gene product that is detectable in a cell or tissue is sometimes used to infer how active the corresponding gene is.
The broad range of mechanisms used by cells to increase or decrease the production or expression of specific gene products, such as RNA or proteins. Gene regulation increases an organism's versatility and adaptability by allowing its cells to express different gene products when required by changes in its environment. In multicellular organisms, the regulation of gene expression also drives cellular differentiation and morphogenesis in the embryo, enabling the creation of a diverse array of cell types from the same genome.
A high-throughput technology used to simultaneously inactivate, identify, and report the expression of a target gene in a mammalian genome by introducing an insertional mutation consisting of a promoterless reporter gene and/or a selectable genetic marker flanked by an upstream splice site and a downstream polyadenylated termination sequence.
The co-occurrence within a population of one or more alleles or genotypes with a particular phenotypictrait more often than might be expected by chance alone; such statistical correlation may be used to infer that the alleles or genotypes are responsible for producing the given phenotype.
A measure of the genetic divergence between species, populations within a species, or individuals, used especially in phylogenetics to express either the time elapsed since the existence of a common ancestor or the degree of differentiation in the DNA sequences comprising the genomes of each population or individual.
The total number of genetic traits or characteristics in the genetic make-up of a population, species, or other group of organisms. It is often used as a measure of the adaptability of a group to changing environments. Genetic diversity is similar to, though distinct from, genetic variability.
Also called allelic drift or the Sewall Wright effect.
A change in the frequency with which an existing allele occurs in a population due to random variation in the distribution of alleles from one generation to the next. It is often interpreted as the role that random chance plays in determining whether a given allele becomes more or less common with each generation, regardless of the influence of natural selection. Genetic drift may cause certain alleles, even otherwise advantageous ones, to disappear completely from the gene pool, thereby reducing genetic variation, or it may cause initially rare alleles, even neutral or deleterious ones, to become much more frequent or even fixed.
Also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation.
The direct, deliberate manipulation of an organism's genetic material using any of a variety of biotechnology methods, including the insertion or removal of genes, the transfer of genes within and between species, the mutation of existing sequences, and the construction of novel sequences using artificial gene synthesis. Genetic engineering encompasses a broad set of technologies by which the genetic composition of individual cells, tissues, or entire organisms may be altered for various purposes, commonly in order to study the functions and expression of individual genes, to produce hormones, vaccines, and other drugs, and to create genetically modified organisms for use in research and agriculture.
Also called genetic draft or the hitchhiking effect.
A type of linked selection by which the positive selection of an allele undergoing a selective sweep causes alleles for different genes at nearby loci to change frequency as well, allowing them to "hitchhike" to fixation along with the positively selected allele. If selection at the first locus is strong enough, neutral or even slightly deleterious alleles within the same linkage group may undergo the same positive selection because the physical distance between the nearby loci is small enough that a recombination event is unlikely to occur between them. Genetic hitchhiking is often considered the opposite of background selection.
A graph that represents the regulatory complexity of gene expression. The vertices (nodes) are represented by various regulatory elements and gene products while the edges (links) are represented by their interactions. These network structures also represent functional relationships by approximating the rate at which genes are transcribed.
A broad class of various procedures used to identify features of an individual's particular chromosomes, genes, or proteins in order to determine parentage or ancestry, diagnose vulnerabilities to heritable diseases, or detect mutant alleles associated with increased risks of developing genetic disorders. Genetic testing is widely used in human medicine, agriculture, and biological research.
The formation or the presence of individuals differing in genotype within a population or other group of organisms, as opposed to individuals with environmentally induced differences, which cause only temporary, non-heritable changes in phenotype. Barring other limitations, a population with high genetic variability has a greater potential for successful adaptation to changing environmental conditions than a population with low genetic variability. Genetic variability is similar to, though distinct from, genetic diversity.
The genetic differences both within and between populations, species, or other groups of organisms. It is often visualized as the variety of different alleles in the gene pools of different populations.
The entire complement of genetic material contained within the chromosomes of an organism, organelle, or virus. The term is also used to refer to the collective set of genetic loci shared by every member of a population or species, regardless of the different alleles that may be present at these loci in different individuals.
An epigenetic phenomenon that causes genes to be expressed in a manner dependent upon the particular parent from which the gene was inherited. It occurs when epigenetic marks such as DNA or histone methylation are established or "imprinted" in the germ cells of a parent organism and subsequently maintained through cell divisions in the somatic cells of the organism's progeny; as a result, a gene in the progeny that was inherited from the father may be expressed differently than another copy of the same gene that was inherited from the mother.
The ability of certain chemical agents to cause damage to genetic material within a living cell (e.g. through single- or double-stranded breaks, crosslinking, or point mutations), which may or may not result in a permanent mutation. Though all mutagens are genotoxic, not all genotoxic compounds are mutagenic.
The process of determining differences in the genotype of an individual by examining the DNA sequences in the individual's genome using bioassays and comparing them to another individual's sequences or a reference sequence.
Any biological cell that gives rise to the gametes of an organism that reproduces sexually. Germ cells are the vessels for the genetic material which will ultimately be passed on to the organism's descendants and are usually distinguished from somatic cells, which are entirely separate from the germ line.
1. In multicellular organisms, the population of cells which are capable of passing on their genetic material to the organism's progeny and are therefore (at least theoretically) distinct from somatic cells. The cells of the germ line are called germ cells.
2. The lineage of germ cells, spanning many generations, that contains the genetic material which has been passed on to an individual from its ancestors.
The proportion of nitrogenous bases in a nucleic acid that are either guanine (G) or cytosine (C), typically expressed as a percentage. DNA and RNA molecules with higher GC-content are generally more thermostable than those with lower GC-content due to molecular interactions that occur during base stacking.
A type of sex-determination system in which sex is determined by the number of sets of chromosomes an individual possesses: offspring which develop from fertilized eggs are females and diploid, while offspring which develop from unfertilized eggs are males and haploid, with half as many chromosomes as the females. Haplodiploidy is common to all members of the insect order Hymenoptera and several other insect taxa.
In a diploid organism, having just one allele at a given genetic locus (where there would ordinarily be two). Hemizygosity may be observed when only one copy of a chromosome is present in a normally diploid cell or organism, or when a segment of a chromosome containing one copy of an allele is deleted, or when a gene is located on a sex chromosome in the heterogametic sex (in which the sex chromosomes do not exist in matching pairs); for example, in human males with normal chromosomes, almost all X-linked genes are said to be hemizygous because there is only one X chromosome and few of the same genes exist on the Y chromosome.
The storage, transfer, and expression of molecular information in biological organisms, as manifested by the passing on of phenotypictraits from parents to their offspring, either through sexual or asexual reproduction. Offspring cells or organisms are said to inherit the genetic information of their parents.
The expression of a foreign gene or any other DNA sequence within a host organism which does not naturally contain the same gene. Insertion of foreign transgenes into heterologous hosts using recombinantvectors is a common biotechnology method for studying gene structure and function.
In a diploid organism, having two different alleles at a given genetic locus. In genetics shorthand, heterozygous genotypes are represented by a pair of non-matching letters or symbols, often an uppercase letter (indicating a dominant allele) and a lowercase letter (indicating a recessive allele), such as "Aa" or "Bb". Contrast homozygous.
Any of a class of highly alkaline proteins responsible for packagingnuclear DNA into structural units called nucleosomes in eukaryotic cells. Histones are the chief protein components of chromatin, where they associate into complexes which act as "spools" around which the linear DNA molecule winds. They play a major role in gene regulation and expression.
(of a linear chromosome or chromosome fragment) Having no single centromere but rather multiple kinetochore assembly sites dispersed along the entire length of the chromosome. During cell division, the chromatids of holocentric chromosomes move apart in parallel and do not form the classical V-shaped structures typical of monocentric chromosomes.
A set of two matching chromosomes, one maternal and one paternal, which pair up with each other inside the nucleus during meiosis. They have the same genes at the same loci, but may have different alleles.
Any constitutive gene that is transcribed at a relatively constant level across many or all known conditions. Such a gene's products typically serve functions critical to the maintenance of the cell. It is generally assumed that their expression is unaffected by experimental conditions.
The offspring that results from combining the qualities of two organisms of different genera, species, breeds, or varieties through sexual reproduction. Hybrids may occur naturally or artificially, as during selective breeding of domesticated animals and plants. Reproductive barriers typically prevent hybridization between distantly related organisms, or at least ensure that hybrid offspring are sterile, but fertile hybrids may result in speciation.
1. The process by which a hybrid organism is produced from two organisms of different genera, species, breeds, or varieties.
2. The process by which a single-stranded DNA or RNA preparation is added to an array surface, in solution, and potentially anneals to the complementaryprobe. Note that with respect to a gene expression assay, hybridization refers to a step in the experimental paradigm, while in molecular biology or genetics, the term refers to the chemical process.
All stages of the cell cycle excluding cell division. A typical cell spends most of its life in interphase, during which it conducts everyday metabolic activities as well as the complete replication of its genome in preparation for mitosis or meiosis.
The movement of a gene from the gene pool of one population or species into that of another population by the repeated backcrossing of hybrids of the two populations with one of the parent populations. Introgression is a ubiquitous and important source of genetic variation in natural populations, but may also be practiced intentionally in the cultivation of domesticated plants and animals.
A type of abnormalchromosome in which the arms of the chromosome are mirror images of each other. Isochromosome formation is equivalent to simultaneous duplication and deletion events such that two copies of either the long arm or the short arm comprise the resulting chromosome.
Two or more genes that are equivalent and redundant in the sense that, despite coding for distinct gene products, they each result in the same phenotype when set within the same genetic background. If several isomeric genes are present in a single genotype they may be either cumulative or non-cumulative in their contributions to the phenotype.
The number and appearance of chromosomes within the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell, especially as depicted in an organized photomicrograph known as a karyogram or idiogram (in pairs and ordered by size and by position of the centromere). The term is also used to refer to the complete set of chromosomes in a species or individual organism or to any test that detects this complement or measures the chromosome number.
A genetic engineering technique in which an organism is modified to carry genes that have been made inoperative ("knocked out"), such that their expression is disrupted at some point in the pathway that produces their gene products and the organism is deprived of their normal effects. Contrast knockin.
On the lagging strand template, a primase "reads" the template DNA and initiates synthesis of a short complementary RNA primer. A DNA polymerase extends the primed segments, forming Okazaki fragments. The RNA primers are then removed and replaced with DNA, and the fragments of DNA are joined together by DNA ligase.
One of three fundamental principles of Mendelian inheritance, which states that different alleles of the same gene may be dominant or recessive relative to others, and that an organism with at least one dominant allele will uniformly display the phenotype associated with the dominant allele.
One of three fundamental principles of Mendelian inheritance, which states that genes responsible for different phenotypic traits are segregated independently during meiosis. Linked genes are a notable exception to this rule.
The tendency of DNA sequences which are physically near to each other on the same chromosome to be inherited together during meiosis. Because the physical distance between them is relatively small, the chance that any two nearby parts of a DNA sequence (often loci or genetic markers) will be separated on to different chromatids during chromosomal crossover is statistically very low; such loci are then said to be more linked than loci that are farther apart. Loci that exist on entirely different chromosomes are said to be perfectly unlinked. The standard unit for measuring genetic linkage is the centimorgan (cM).
A theory of biological inheritance based on a set of principles originally proposed by Gregor Mendel in 1865 and 1866. Mendel derived three generalized laws about the genetic basis of inheritance which, together with several theories developed by later scientists, are considered the foundation of classical genetics. Contrast non-Mendelian inheritance.
The presence of two or more populations of cells with different genotypes in an individual organism which has developed from a single fertilized egg. A mosaic organism can result from many kinds of genetic phenomena, including nondisjunction of chromosomes, endoreplication, or mutations in individual stem cell lineages during the early development of the embryo. Mosaicism is similar to but distinct from chimerism.
1. The process by which the genetic information of an organism is changed, resulting in a mutation. Mutagenesis may occur spontaneously or as a result of exposure to a mutagen.
2. In molecular biology, any laboratory technique by which one or more genetic mutations are deliberately engineered in order to produce a mutant gene, regulatory element, gene product, or genetically modified organism so that the functions of a genetic locus, process, or product can be studied in detail.
Any permanent change in the nucleotide sequence of a strand of DNA or RNA. Mutations play a role in both normal and abnormal biological processes, including evolution. They can result from replication errors, molecular damage, or manipulations by mobile genetic elements. Repair mechanisms have evolved in many organisms to correct them.
Any segment of DNA that does not encode a sequence that may ultimately be transcribed and translated into a protein. In most organisms, only a small fraction of the genome consists of protein-coding DNA, though the proportion varies greatly between species. Some non-coding DNA may still be transcribed into functional non-coding RNA (as with transfer RNAs) or may serve important developmental or regulatory purposes; other regions (as with so-called "junk DNA") appear to have no known biological function.
Any molecule of RNA that is not ultimately translated into a protein. The DNA sequence from which a functional non-coding RNA is transcribed is often referred to as an "RNA gene". Numerous types of non-coding RNAs essential to normal genome function are produced constitutively, including transfer RNA (tRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), microRNA (miRNA), and small interfering RNA (siRNA); other non-coding RNAs (sometimes described as "junk RNA") have no known function and are likely the product of spurious transcription.
A long, polymericmacromolecule made up of smaller monomers called nucleotides which are chemically linked to one another in a chain. Two specific types of nucleic acid, DNA and RNA, are used in biological systems to encode the genetic information governing the construction, development, and ordinary processes of all living organisms. The order, or sequence, of the nucleotides in DNA and RNA molecules contains information that is translated into proteins, which direct all of the chemical reactions necessary for life.
Any allele made non-functional by way of a genetic mutation. The mutation may result in the complete failure to produce a gene product or a gene product that does not function properly; in either case, the allele may be considered non-functional.
A short chain of nucleic acidresidues. Oligonucleotides are often used to detect the presence of larger mRNA molecules or assembled into two-dimensional microarrays for high-throughput sequence analysis.
A functional DNA sequence consisting of a cluster of structural genes which are collectively under the control of a single promoter. The set of genes is transcribed together into a single polycistronic RNA molecule, which may then be translated together or undergo splicing to create multiple RNAs which are translated independently; the result is that the genes contained in the operon are either expressed together or not at all.
One of a set of genes (or, more generally, any DNA sequences showing homology) which are present in different genomes but are directly related to one another by vertical descent from a single gene or sequence in the last common ancestor of those genomes; such genes or sequences are said to be orthologous. Orthologs are descended from the same ancestral sequence and can be inferred to be related to each other based on the similarity of their sequences; though they may have evolved independently within the separate genomes by mutation and natural selection, their products may still retain similar structures, functions, or levels of expression across species and populations. The identification of orthologs has proven important in inferring phylogenetic relationships between different organisms. Contrast paralog.
A nucleic acid sequence of a double-stranded DNA or RNA molecule in which the unidirectional sequence (e.g. 5' to 3') of nucleotides on one strand matches the sequence in the same direction (e.g. 5' to 3') on the complementary strand. In other words, a nucleotide sequence is said to be palindromic if it is equal to its reverse complement. Palindromic motifs are common in most genomes and are capable of forming hairpins.
One of a set of genes (or, more generally, any DNA sequences showing homology) which are directly related to each other via one or more genetic duplication events; such genes or sequences are said to be paralogous. Paralogs result from the duplication of a single sequence within a single genome and then the subsequent divergence of the duplicated sequences by mutation and natural selection (either within the original genome, or, during speciation, in different genomes). Contrast ortholog.
The proportion of individuals with a given genotype who express the associated phenotype, usually given as a percentage. Because of the many complex interactions that govern gene expression, the same allele may produce an observable phenotype in one individual but not in another. If less than 100% of the individuals in a population carrying the genotype of interest also express the associated phenotype, both the genotype and phenotype may be said to show incomplete penetrance. Penetrance quantifies the probability that an allele will result in the expression of its associated phenotype in any form, i.e. to any extent that makes an individual carrier different from individuals without the allele. Compare expressivity.
The composite of the observable morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits of an organism that result from the expression of the organism's genotype as well as the influence of environmental factors and the interactions between the two.
The study of the evolutionary history of and relationships between individuals or groups of organisms, such as species or populations, through methods that evaluate observed heritabletraits, including morphological features and DNA sequences. The result of such analyses is known as a phylogeny or phylogenetic tree.
(of a cell or organism) Having more than two homologous copies of each chromosome. Polyploidy may occur as a normal condition of chromosomes in certain cells or even entire organisms, or it may occur as the result of abnormal cell division or a mutation causing the duplication of the entire chromosome set. Contrast haploid and diploid.
A reagent used to make a single measurement in a gene expression experiment. Compare reporter.
A collection of two or more probes designed to measure a single molecular species, such as a collection of oligonucleotides designed to hybridize to various parts of the mRNA transcripts generated from a single gene.
The entire set of proteins that is or can be expressed by a particular genome, cell, tissue, or species at a particular time (such as during a single lifespan or during a specific developmental stage) or under particular conditions (such as when compromised by a certain disease).
A branch of population genetics which studies phenotypes that vary continuously (such as height or mass) as opposed to those that fall into discretely identifiable categories (such as eye color or the presence or absence of a particular trait). Quantitative genetics employs statistical methods and concepts to link continuously distributed phenotypic values to specific genotypes and gene products.
A way of dividing the nucleotide sequence in a DNA or RNA molecule into a set of consecutive, non-overlapping triplets, which is "read" by proteins during transcription and replication. In coding DNA, each triplet is referred to as a codon that corresponds to a particular amino acid during translation. In general, only one reading frame (the so-called open reading frame) in a given section of a nucleic acid can be used to make functional proteins, but there are exceptions in a few organisms. A frameshift mutation results in a shift in the normal reading frame and affects all downstream codons.
A relationship between the alleles of a gene in which one allele produces an effect on phenotype that is overpowered or "masked" by the contribution of another allele at the same locus; the first allele and its associated phenotypic trait are said to be recessive, and the second allele and its associated trait are said to be dominant. Often, recessive alleles code for inefficient or dysfunctional proteins. Like dominance, recessiveness is not an inherent property of any allele or phenotype, but simply describes its relationship to one or more other alleles or phenotypes. In genetics shorthand, recessive alleles are often represented by a lowercase letter (e.g. "a", in contrast to the dominant "A").
A type of chromosomal translocation by which there is a reciprocal exchange of chromosomal segments between two or more non-homologouschromosomes. When the exchange of material is evenly balanced, reciprocal translocations are usually harmless.
Any DNA molecule in which laboratory methods of genetic recombination have brought together genetic material from multiple sources, thereby creating a sequence that would not otherwise be found in a naturally occurring genome. Because DNA molecules from all organisms share the same basic chemical structure and properties, DNA sequences from any species, or even sequences created de novo by artificial gene synthesis, may be incorporated into recombinant DNA molecules. Recombinant DNA technology is widely used in genetic engineering.
1. The process by which certain biological molecules, notably the nucleic acidsDNA and RNA, produce copies of themselves.
2. A technique used to estimate technical and biological variation in experiments for statistical analysis of microarray data. Replicates may be technical replicates, such as dye swaps or repeated array hybridizations, or biological replicates, biological samples from separate experiments that test the effects of the same experimental treatments.
A MIAME-compliant term to describe a reagent used to make a single measurement in a gene expression experiment. MIAME defines it as "the nucleotide sequence present in a particular location on the array". A reporter may be a segment of single-stranded DNA that is covalently attached to the array surface. Compare probe.
Any of a class of enzymes that synthesizes RNA molecules from a DNA template. RNA polymerases are essential for transcription and are found in all living organisms and many viruses. They build long single-stranded polymers called transcripts by adding ribonucleotides one at a time in the 5'-to-3' direction, relying on the template provided by the complementary strand to transcribe the nucleotide sequence faithfully.
A type of chromosomal translocation by which double-strand breaks at or near the centromeres of two acrocentricchromosomes cause a reciprocal exchange of segments that gives rise to one large metacentric chromosome (composed of the long arms) and one extremely small chromosome (composed of the short arms), the latter of which is often subsequently lost from the cell with little effect because it contains very few genes. The resulting karyotype shows one fewer than the expected total number of chromosomes, because two previously distinct chromosomes have essentially fused together. Carriers of Robertsonian translocations are generally not associated with any phenotypic abnormalities, but do have an increased risk of generating meiotically unbalanced gametes.
A distinction made between the individual strands of a double-stranded DNA molecule in order to easily and specifically identify each strand. The two complementary strands are distinguished as sense and antisense or, equivalently, the coding strand and the template strand. It is the antisense/template strand which is actually used as the template for transcription; the sense/coding strand merely resembles the sequence of codons on the RNA transcript, which makes it possible to determine from the DNA sequence alone the expected amino acid sequence of any protein translated from the RNA transcript. Which strand is which is relative only to a particular RNA transcript and not to the entire DNA molecule; that is, either strand can function as the sense/coding or antisense/template strand.
Any recurring sequence of nucleotides or amino acids that is or is conjectured to be biologically significant. In nucleic acids, sequence motifs are often short (three to ten nucleotides in length), highly conserved sequences that are used as recognition sites for DNA-binding enzymes or RNAs involved in the regulation of gene expression.
A type of neutral mutation which does not have an observable effect on the organism's phenotype. Though the term "silent mutation" is often used interchangeably with synonymous mutation, synonymous mutations are not always silent, nor vice versa. Missense mutations which result in a different amino acid but one with similar functionality (e.g. leucine instead of isoleucine) are also often classified as silent, since such mutations usually do not significantly affect protein function.
Any substitution of a single nucleotide which occurs at a specific position within a genome and with measurable frequency within a population; for example, at a specific base position in a DNA sequence, the majority of the individuals in a population may have a cytosine (C), while in a minority of individuals, the same position may be occupied by an adenine (A). SNPs are usually defined with respect to a "standard" reference genome; an individual human genome differs from the reference human genome at an average of 4 to 5 million positions, most of which consist of SNPs and short indels.
Any DNA molecule that consists of a single nucleotide polymer, or "strand", as opposed to a pair of complementary strands held together by hydrogen bonds (double-stranded DNA). In most circumstances, DNA is more stable and more common in double-stranded form, but high temperatures, low concentrations of dissolved salts, and very high or low pH can cause double-stranded molecules to decompose into two single-stranded molecules in a process known as "melting"; this reaction is exploited by naturally occurring enzymes such as those involved in DNA replication as well as by laboratory techniques such as polymerase chain reaction.
A pair of identical copies (chromatids) produced as the result of the DNA replication of a chromosome, particularly when both copies are joined together by a common centromere; the pair of sister chromatids is called a dyad. The two sister chromatids are ultimately separated from each other into two different cells during mitosis or meiosis.
Any biological cell forming the body of an organism, or, in multicellular organisms, any cell other than a gamete, germ cell, or undifferentiated stem cell. Somatic cells are theoretically distinct from cells of the germ line, meaning the mutations they have undergone can never be transmitted to the organism's descendants, though in practice exceptions do exist.
The expression of one or more genes only within a specific anatomical region or tissue, often in response to a paracrine signal. The boundary between the jurisdictions of two spatially restricted genes may generate a sharp phenotypic gradient there, as with striping patterns.
The effect of conditions such as temperature and pH upon the degree of complementarity that is required for a hybridization reaction to occur between two single-stranded nucleic acid molecules. In the most stringent conditions, only exact complements can successfully hybridize; as stringency decreases, an increasing number of mismatches can be tolerated by the two hybridizing strands.
(of a linear chromosome or chromosome fragment) Having a centromere positioned close to but not exactly in the middle of the chromosome, resulting in chromatid arms of slightly different lengths. Compare metacentric.
A pattern within a nucleic acid sequence in which one or more nucleobases are repeated and the repetitions are directly adjacent (i.e. tandem) to each other. An example is ATGACATGACATGAC, in which the sequence ATGAC is repeated three times.
A region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a linear chromosome which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration and from fusion with other chromosomes. Since each round of replication results in the shortening of the chromosome, telomeres act as disposable buffers which are sacrificed to perpetualb truncation instead of nearby genes; telomeres can also be lengthened by the enzyme telomerase.
Also antisense strand, negative (-) sense strand, and noncoding strand.
The strand of a double-stranded DNA molecule which is used as a template for RNA synthesis during transcription. The sequence of the template strand is complementary to the resulting RNA transcript. Contrast coding strand; see also sense.
The entire set of RNA molecules (often referring to all types of RNA but sometimes exclusively to messenger RNA) that is or can be expressed by a particular genome, cell, population of cells, or species at a particular time or under particular conditions. The transcriptome is distinct from the exome and the translatome.
A special class of RNA molecule, typically 76 to 90 nucleotides in length, that serves as a physical adapter allowing mRNA transcripts to be translated into sequences of amino acids during protein synthesis. Each tRNA contains a specific anticodon triplet corresponding to an amino acid that is covalently attached to the tRNA's opposite end; as translation proceeds, tRNAs are recruited to the ribosome, where each mRNA codon is paired with a tRNA containing the complementary anticodon. Depending on the organism, cells may employ as many as 41 distinct tRNAs with unique anticodons; because of codon degeneracy within the genetic code, several tRNAs containing different anticodons carry the same amino acid.
Any gene or other segment of genetic material that has been isolated from one organism and then transferred either naturally or by any of a variety of genetic engineering techniques into another organism, especially one of a different species. Transgenes are usually introduced into the second organism's germ line. They are commonly used to study gene function or to confer an advantage not otherwise available in the unaltered organism.
The entire set of messenger RNA molecules that are translated by a particular genome, cell, tissue, or species at a particular time or under particular conditions. Like the transcriptome, it is often used as a proxy for quantifying levels of gene expression, though the transcriptome also includes many RNA molecules that are never translated.
Showing consistent, predictable, and replicable traits in the progeny that result from the mating of any two purebred parents belonging to the same breed or variety (and not the traits of other breeds or varieties that may previously have been crossed into the lineage). To "breed true" means that parents of the same lineage will produce offspring that share all of the parents' traits.
Any process, natural or artificial, which increases the level of gene expression of a certain gene. A gene which is observed to be expressed at relatively high levels (such as by detecting higher levels of its mRNA transcripts) in one sample compared to another sample is said to be upregulated. Contrast downregulation.
A term referring to the phenotype of the typical form of a species as it occurs in nature, a product of the standard "normal" allele at a given locus as opposed to that produced by a non-standard mutant allele.
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National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms