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Comparative analysis of the chicken TCRα/δ locus
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    The access to whole genome sequences has provided the opportunity to study the evolution and organization of immunologically related genes on a large scale. The genes encoding the T cell receptor (TCR) α and δ chains are part of a complex locus that has shown remarkable conserved organization across different amniote lineages. In this study we have examined and annotated the TCRα/δ locus in chicken (Gallus gallus) and compared it to that of zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and other avian species using the current available genome data. We also analyzed the expressed chicken TCRα/δ transcript repertoire and compared it with that previously described for zebra finch. The analyses conducted in this study show that the TCRα/δ locus in birds has undergone major rearrangements and expansion of the germ line repertoire in chicken, compared to zebra finch. A major expansion of the chicken variable gene repertoire appears to be driven by selection for genes from a limited number of subgroups.

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    IP20RR18754/IP/NCIRD CDC HHS/United States
    P20 GM103452/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States
    P20 RR018754/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
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