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Genetics. Jun 2003; 164(2): 665–672.
PMCID: PMC1462596

A centromeric tandem repeat family originating from a part of Ty3/gypsy-retroelement in wheat and its relatives.


From a wild diploid species that is a relative of wheat, Aegilops speltoides, a 301-bp repeat containing 16 copies of a CAA microsatellite was isolated. Southern blot and fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that approximately 250 bp of the sequence is tandemly arrayed at the centromere regions of A- and B-genome chromosomes of common wheat and rye chromosomes. Although the DNA sequence of this 250-bp repeat showed no notable homology in the databases, the flanking or intervening sequences between the repeats showed high homologies (>82%) to two separate sequences of the gag gene and its upstream region in cereba, a Ty3/gypsy-like retroelement of Hordeum vulgare. Since the amino acid sequence deduced from the 250 bp with seven CAAs showed some similarity ( approximately 53%) to that of the gag gene, we concluded that the 250-bp repeats had also originated from the cereba-like retroelements in diploid wheat such as Ae. speltoides and had formed tandem arrays, whereas the 300-bp repeats were dispersed as a part of cereba-like retroelements. This suggests that some tandem repeats localized at the centromeric regions of cereals and other plant species originated from parts of retrotransposons.

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Selected References

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