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Genomic structure of the luciferase gene from the bioluminescent beetle, Nyctophila cf. caucasica

By John Day, M. J. Chaichi, I. Najafil and A. Whiteley

Abstract

The gene coding for beetle luciferase, the enzyme responsible for bioluminescence in over two thousand coleopteran species has, to date, only been characterized from one Palearctic species of Lampyridae. Here we report the characterization of the luciferase gene from a female beetle of an Iranian lampyrid species, Nyctophila cf. caucasica ( Coleoptera: Lampyridae). The luciferase gene was composed of seven exons, coding for 547 amino acids, separated by six introns spanning 1976 bp of genomic DNA. The deduced amino acid sequences of the luciferase gene of N. caucasica showed 98.9% homology to that of the Palearctic species Lampyris noctiluca. Analysis of the 810 bp upstream region of the luciferase gene revealed three TATA boxes and several other consensus transcriptional factor recognition sequences presenting evidence for a putative core promoter region conserved in Lampyrinae from -190 through to -155 upstream of the luciferase start codon. Along with the core promoter region the luciferase gene was compared with orthologous sequences from other lampyrid species and found to have greatest identity to Lampyris turkistanicus and Lampyris noctiluca. The significant sequence identity to the former is discussed in relation to taxonomic issues of Iranian lampyrids

Topics: Zoology
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Libraries
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:626

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