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Genome. 1999 Jun;42(3):442-6.

A subtelomeric satellite DNA family isolated from the genome of the dioecious plant Silene latifolia.

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  • 1Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Spain.


In an ongoing effort to trace the evolution of the sex chromosomes of Silene latifolia, we have searched for the existence of repetitive sequences specific to these chromosomes in the genome of this species by direct isolation from low-melting agarose gels of satellite DNA bands generated by digestion with restriction enzymes. Five monomeric units belonging to a highly repetitive family isolated from Silene latifolia, the SacI family, have been cloned and characterized. The consensus sequence of the repetitive units is 313 bp in length (however, high variability exists for monomer length variants) and 52.9% in AT. Repeating units are tandemly arranged at the subtelomeric regions of the chromosomes in this species. The sequence does not possess direct or inverted sequences of significant length, but short direct repeats are scattered throughout the monomer sequence. Several short sequence motives resemble degenerate monomers of the telomere repeat sequence of plants (TTTAGGG), confirming a tight association between this subtelomeric satellite DNA and the telomere repeats. Our approach in this work confirms that SacI satellite DNA sequences are among the most abundant in the genome of S. latifolia and, on the other hand, that satellite DNA sequences specific of sex chromosomes are absent in this species. This agrees with a sex determination system less cytogenetically diverged from a bisexual state than the system present in other plant species, such as R. acetosa, or at least a lesser degree of differentiation between the sex chromosomes of S. latifolia and the autosomes.

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