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Expansion of rDNA and pericentromere satellite repeats in the genomes of bank voles Myodes glareolus exposed to environmental radionuclides

Citation

Jernfors, Toni et al. (2022), Expansion of rDNA and pericentromere satellite repeats in the genomes of bank voles Myodes glareolus exposed to environmental radionuclides, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1zcrjdfrt

Abstract

Altered copy number of certain highly repetitive regions of the genome, such as satellite DNA within heterochromatin and ribosomal RNA loci (rDNA), is hypothesized to help safeguard the genome against damage derived from external stressors. We quantified copy number of the 18S rDNA and a pericentromeric satellite DNA (Msat-160) in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), an area that is contaminated by radionuclides and where organisms are exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation. We found a significant increase in 18S rDNA and Msat-160 content in the genomes of bank voles from contaminated locations within the CEZ compared with animals from uncontaminated locations. Moreover, 18S rDNA and Msat-160 copy number were positively correlated in the genomes of bank voles from uncontaminated, but not in the genomes of animals inhabiting contaminated areas. These results show the capacity for local-scale geographic variation in genome architecture and are consistent with the genomic safeguard hypothesis. Disruption of cellular processes related to genomic stability appears to be a hallmark effect in bank voles inhabiting areas contaminated by radionuclides. --

Methods

Live capture of bank voles in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Ambient radiation levels measured at all trapping locations using a hand-held Geiger counter (Gamma-Scout, GmbH & Co., Germany) placed 1 cm above the ground, and taking an average of at least nine measurements from each trapping location. Internal absorbed caesium-137 dose rates were measured using a SAM 940 radionuclide identifier system (Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation, San Rafael, CA, USA).

Funding

Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Award: 287153

Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Award: 324602

Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Award: 324605

Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Award: 268670

Suomen Kulttuurirahasto