Vertebral number is the most variable trait among vertebrates. In addition to the vertebral number, the ratio of abdominal to caudal vertebrae is a variable trait. The vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal to caudal vertebrae contribute to vertebrate diversity. It is very interesting to know how to determine the vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal to caudal vertebrae. In this study, we identify differences in the vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal vertebrae to vertebral number between two inbred lines of medaka, namely, Hd-rRII1 and Kaga. To identify the genetic factor of those differences, we performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for vertebral number and the ratio of abdominal vertebrae to vertebral number using 200 F2 fish. Our results show a suggestive QTL of the ratio of abdominal vertebrae to vertebral number on chromosome 15, and five QTL of vertebral number on chromosomes 1, 10, 11, 17, and 23. The QTL on chromosome 15 contains hoxDb cluster genes. The QTL of vertebral number include some genes related to the segmentation clock and axial elongation. In addition, we show that the difference in vertebral number between two inbred lines is derived from differences in the anteroposterior length of somites. Our results emphasize that the developmental process should be considered in genetic analyses for vertebral number.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology