A conserved repetitive DNA element located in the centromeres of cereal chromosomes

Jiming Jiang, Shuhei Nasuda, Fenggao Dong, Christopher W. Scherrer, Sung Sick Woo, Rod A. Wing, Bikram S. Gill, David C. Ward

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Repetitive DNA sequences have been demonstrated to play an important role for centromere function of eukaryotic chromosomes, including those from fission yeast, Drosophila melanogaster, and humans. Here we report on the isolation of a repetitive DNA element located in the centromeric regions of cereal chromosomes. A 745-bp repetitive DNA clone, pSau3A9, was isolated from sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). This DNA element is located in the centromeric regions of all sorghum chromosomes, as demonstrated by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Repetitive DNA sequences homologous to pSau3A9 also are present in the centromeric regions of chromosomes from other cereal species, including rice, maize, wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Probe pSau3A9 also hybridized to the centromeric region of B chromosomes from rye and maize. The repetitive nature and its conservation in distantly related plant species indicate that the pSau3A9 family may be associated with centromere function of cereal chromosomes. The absence of DNA sequences homologous to pSau3A9 in dicot species suggests a faster divergence of centromere-related sequences compared with the telomere-related sequences in plants.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 26 1996
Externally publishedYes

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