Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences


Amelogenin (AMEL) is a gene responsible for tooth bud development. It is located on the X-chromosome, thus called AMELX, in mammals. AMEL has been shown to be present in fish, amphibians, and reptiles, though the exact location on the chromosome has not been determined. Amelogenin-like gene (AMELY), an AMEL homolog encoded on the Y-chromosome in some mammals, including sheep, cattle, deer, bears, humans, and some primates, is shorter than the sequence on the X-chromosome. It is unknown whether AMELY is transcriptionally active, but it has been found to be useful for human sexing purposes in forensics, archaeology and prenatal diagnosis, as well as in animal and beef sexing by the use of a simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers designed to flank the deletion region of AMELY.

This project involved isolating and sequencing the deletion region of AMELY from male Argali sheep (Ovis ammon) DNA. Research methods included culture of the Argali cells, extraction and purification of genomic DNA from the cells, PCR of a portion of the AMEL sequence, gel electrophoresis and purification of the PCR product bands, and preparation and analysis of the sample for sequencing. It has been hypothesized that there is a DNA sequence polymorphism between the deletion region of the wild Argali AMELY sequence compared to the previously published AMELY sequence of the domestic sheep (Ovis aries).

Results discussed in this paper show that no evidence of a DNA polymorphism between the wild and domestic sheep species is present. The Argali AMELY sequence appears to be identical to that of the domestic sheep.



Faculty Mentor

Lee F. Rickords

Departmental Honors Advisor

Lyle G. McNeal