J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (11): 1345-1351.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00156.x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Heterozygosity of Knob-Associated Tandem Repeats and Knob Instability in Mitotic Chromosomes of Zea (Zea mays L. and Z. diploperennis Iltis Doebley)

Zhi-Yong XIONG, Yong LIU, Yong-Gang HE, Yun-Chun SONG, Ke-Xiu LI and Guan-Yuan HE   

Abstract: Knobs are blocks of heterochromatin present on chromosomes of maize (Zea mays L.) and its relatives that have effects on the frequency of genetic recombination, as well as on chromosome behavior. Knob heterozygosity and instability in six maize inbred lines and one Z. diploperennis Iltis Doebley line were investigated using the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique with knob-associated tandem repeats (180 bp and 350 bp (TR-1)) as probes. Signals of seven heterozygous knobs containing 180-bp repeats and of one heterozygous knob containing TR-1 were captured in chromosomes of all materials tested according to the results of FISH, which demonstrates that the 180-bp repeat is the main contributor to knob heterozygosity compared with the TR-1 element. In addition, one target cell with two TR-1 signals on one homolog of chromosome 2L, which was different from the normal cells in the maize inbred line GB57, was observed, suggesting knob duplication and an instability phenomenon in the maize genome.

Key words: fluorescence in situ hybridization, knob, repetitive DNA sequence, Zea diploperennis, Z. mays.

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