Universal PCR primers for ribosomal protein gene introns of fish


Research Center for Aquatic Genomics, National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 236-8648, Japan


Human ribosomal protein (RP) gene sequences with respect to intron/exon structures and corresponding cDNA or genomic data of fish species were obtained from the GenBank database. Based on conserved exon sequences, 128 primer pairs for 41 genes were designed for exon-primed intron-crossing (EPIC) polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In reference to the draft genome sequences of the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), 12 primer pairs expected to amplify introns of the bluefin tuna with lengths of 500–1000 bp were selected and applied to six distantly related fish species belonging to the Orders Clupeiformes, Tetraodontiformes, Pleuronectiformes, Perciformes, Scorpaeniformes, and Anguilliformes. PCR amplification was observed for at least four species in each primer pair, and all fragments were larger than those expected for intronless amplification. Single fragment amplification was observed for at least seven primer pairs per species. Fragment sizes of the bluefin tuna for nine primer pairs corresponded to those expected from the genomic data. Thus, our primer pairs are potentially applicable to a wide variety of fish species and serve as an initial step for isolating single-copy nuclear DNA sequences.