Characterization of expressed sequence tags from a Gallus gallus pineal gland cDNA library

The pineal gland is the circadian oscillator in the chicken, regulating diverse functions ranging from egg laying to feeding. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) isolated from a chicken pineal gland cDNA library. A total of 192 unique sequences were analysed and submitted to GenBank; 6% of the ESTs matched neither GenBank cDNA sequences nor the newly assembled chicken genomic DNA sequence, three ESTs aligned with sequences designated to be on the Z_random, while one matched a W chromosome sequence and could be useful in cataloguing functionally important genes on this sex chromosome. Additionally, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified and validated in 10 ESTs that showed 98% or higher sequence similarity to known chicken genes. Here, we have described resources that may be useful in comparative and functional genomic analysis of genes expressed in an important organ, the pineal gland, in a model and agriculturally important organism.