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Molecular and neuronal homology between the olfactory systems of zebrafish and mouse

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      Abstract

      Studies of the two major olfactory organs of rodents, the olfactory mucosa (OM) and the vomeronasal organ (VNO), unraveled the molecular basis of smell in vertebrates. However, some vertebrates lack a VNO. Here we generated and analyzed the olfactory transcriptome of the zebrafish and compared it to the olfactory transcriptomes of mouse to investigate the evolutionary and molecular relationship between single and dual olfactory systems. Our analyses revealed a high degree of molecular conservation, with orthologs of mouse olfactory cell-specific markers and all but one of their chemosensory receptor classes expressed in the single zebrafish olfactory organ. Zebrafish chemosensory receptor genes are expressed across a large dynamic range and their RNA abundance correlates positively with the number of neurons expressing that RNA. Thus we estimate the relative proportions of neuronal sub-types expressing different chemosensory receptors. Receptor repertoire size drives the absolute abundance of different classes of neurons, but we find similar underlying patterns in both species. Finally, we identified novel marker genes that characterize rare neuronal populations in both mouse and zebrafish. In sum, we find that the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning olfaction in teleosts and mammals are similar despite 430 million years of evolutionary divergence.

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          TopHat2: accurate alignment of transcriptomes in the presence of insertions, deletions and gene fusions

          TopHat is a popular spliced aligner for RNA-sequence (RNA-seq) experiments. In this paper, we describe TopHat2, which incorporates many significant enhancements to TopHat. TopHat2 can align reads of various lengths produced by the latest sequencing technologies, while allowing for variable-length indels with respect to the reference genome. In addition to de novo spliced alignment, TopHat2 can align reads across fusion breaks, which can occur after genomic translocations. TopHat2 combines the ability to identify novel splice sites with direct mapping to known transcripts, producing sensitive and accurate alignments, even for highly repetitive genomes or in the presence of pseudogenes. TopHat2 is available at http://ccb.jhu.edu/software/tophat.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus , Hinxton-Cambridge, CB10 1SA, United Kingdom
            [2 ]European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus , Hinxton-Cambridge, CB10 1SD, United Kingdom
            [3 ]Institut für Genetik, Universität zu Köln , Cologne, 50674, Germany
            Author notes
            [*]

            These authors contributed equally to this work.

            [†]

            These authors jointly supervised this work.

            Journal
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            2045-2322
            25 June 2015
            2015
            : 5
            26108469 4480006 srep11487 10.1038/srep11487
            Copyright © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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