A1 Journal article (refereed)
Expansion of rDNA and pericentromere satellite repeats in the genomes of bank voles Myodes glareolus exposed to environmental radionuclides (2021)

Jernfors, T., Danforth, J., Kesäniemi, J., Lavrinienko, A., Tukalenko, E., Fajkus, J., Dvořáčková, M., Mappes, T., & Watts, P. C. (2021). Expansion of rDNA and pericentromere satellite repeats in the genomes of bank voles Myodes glareolus exposed to environmental radionuclides. Ecology and Evolution, 11(13), 8754-8767. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7684

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsJernfors, Toni; Danforth, John; Kesäniemi, Jenni; Lavrinienko, Anton; Tukalenko, Eugene; Fajkus, Jiří; Dvořáčková, Martina; Mappes, Tapio; Watts, Phillip C.

Journal or seriesEcology and Evolution



Publication year2021

Publication date25/05/2021


Issue number13

Pages range8754-8767

PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/76134


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.

Keywordsradiobiologyionising radiationDNAwildlifeClethrionomys glareolusChernobyl Nuclear Accident

Free keywordsanthropogenic disturbance; Chernobyl; copy number; ionizing radiation; Myodes glareolus; rDNA

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 20:17