State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Sciences, National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, People's Republic of China;
IgY(ΔFc), containing only CH1 and CH2 domains, is expressed in the serum of some birds and reptiles, such as ducks and turtles. The duck IgY(ΔFc) is produced by the same υ gene that expresses the intact IgY form (CH1-4) using different transcriptional termination sites. In this study, we show that intact IgY and IgY(ΔFc) are encoded by distinct genes in the red-eared turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). At least eight IgY and fiveIgY(ΔFc) transcripts were found in a single turtle. Together with Southern blotting, our data suggest that multiple genes encoding both IgY forms are present in the turtle genome. Both of the IgY forms were detected in the serum using rabbit polyclonal Abs. In addition, we show that multiple copies of the turtle δ gene are present in the genome and that alternative splicing is extensively involved in the generation of both the secretory and membrane-bound forms of the IgD H chain transcripts. Although a single μ gene was identified, the α gene was not identified in this species.