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Genetics. Jun 2003; 164(2): 673–683.
PMCID: PMC1462599

A large rearrangement involving genes and low-copy DNA interrupts the microcollinearity between rice and barley at the Rph7 locus.


Grass genomes differ greatly in chromosome number, ploidy level, and size. Despite these differences, very good conservation of the marker order (collinearity) was found at the genetic map level between the different grass genomes. Collinearity is particularly good between rice chromosome 1 and the group 3 chromosomes in the Triticeae. We have used this collinearity to saturate the leaf rust resistance locus Rph7 on chromosome 3HS in barley with ESTs originating from rice chromosome 1S. Chromosome walking allowed the establishment of a contig of 212 kb spanning the Rph7 resistance gene. Sequencing of the contig showed an average gene density of one gene/20 kb with islands of higher density. Comparison with the orthologous rice sequence revealed the complete conservation of five members of the HGA gene family whereas intergenic regions differ greatly in size and composition. In rice, the five genes are closely associated whereas in barley intergenic regions are >38-fold larger. The size difference is due mainly to the presence of six additional genes as well as noncoding low-copy sequences. Our data suggest that a major rearrangement occurred in this region since the Triticeae and rice lineage diverged.

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