Thomas S. Becker

Learn More
We report evidence for a mechanism for the maintenance of long-range conserved synteny across vertebrate genomes. We found the largest mammal-teleost conserved chromosomal segments to be spanned by highly conserved noncoding elements (HCNEs), their developmental regulatory target genes, and phylogenetically and functionally unrelated "bystander" genes.(More)
Insect genomes contain larger blocks of conserved gene order (microsynteny) than would be expected under a random breakage model of chromosome evolution. We present evidence that microsynteny has been retained to keep large arrays of highly conserved noncoding elements (HCNEs) intact. These arrays span key developmental regulatory genes, forming genomic(More)
Genome-wide association studies identified noncoding SNPs associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity in linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks encompassing HHEX-IDE and introns of CDKAL1 and FTO [Sladek R, et al. (2007) Nature 445:881-885; Steinthorsdottir V, et al. (2007) Nat. Genet 39:770-775; Frayling TM, et al. (2007) Science 316:889-894]. We show that(More)
During gastrulation, dramatic movements rearrange cells into three germ layers expanded over the entire embryo [1-3]. In fish, both endoderm and mesoderm are specified as a belt at the embryo margin. Mesodermal layer expansion is achieved through the combination of two directed migrations. The outer ring of precursors moves toward the vegetal pole and(More)
By enhancer trap screening we identified a transgenic zebrafish line showing leukocyte-specific YFP expression during late embryo and early larval development. Its enhancer detection insertion was mapped near a novel member of the myc proto-oncogene family, encoding transcription factors known to be important for regulating human myelopoiesis.(More)
Murine retroviral vectors carrying an enhancer detection cassette were used to generate 95 transgenic lines of fish in which reporter expression is observed in distinct patterns during embryonic development. We mapped 65 insertion sites to the as yet unfinished zebrafish genome sequence. Many integrations map close to previously known developmental genes,(More)
Anteroposterior patterning of the vertebrate forebrain during gastrulation involves graded Wnt signaling, which segregates anterior fields (telencephalon and eye) from the diencephalon. How the telencephalic and retinal primordia are subsequently subdivided remains largely unknown. We demonstrate that at late gastrulation the Paired-like homeodomain(More)
The timing of commitment and cell-cycle exit within progenitor populations during neurogenesis is a fundamental decision that impacts both the number and identity of neurons produced during development. We show here that microRNA-9 plays a key role in this process through the direct inhibition of targets with antagonistic functions. Across the ventricular(More)
Conserved synteny––the sharing of at least one orthologous gene by a pair of chromosomes from two species––can, in the strictest sense, be viewed as sequence conservation between chromosomes of two related species, irrespective of whether coding or non-coding sequence is examined. The recent sequencing of multiple vertebrate genomes indicates that certain(More)
During eye development, retinal progenitors are drawn from a multipotent, proliferative cell population. In Drosophila the maintenance of this cell population requires the function of the TALE-homeodomain transcription factor Hth, although its mechanisms of action are still unknown. Here we investigate whether members of the Meis gene family, the vertebrate(More)