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Methods Cell Sci. 2001;23(1-3):57-69.

Chromosome painting in plants.

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  • 1Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), D-06466 Gatersleben, Germany.


The current 'state-of-art' as to chromosome painting in plants is reviewed. We define different situations described as painting so far: i) Genomic in situ hybridisation (GISH) with total genomic DNA to distinguish alien chromosomes on the basis of divergent dispersed repeats, ii) 'Chromosomal in situ suppression' (CISS) hybridisation with chromosome-derived DNA probes and blocking of interchromosomally dispersed repeats by total genomic or C0t-1 DNA in excess, iii) exceptional cases of single chromosome painting by probes containing chromosome-specific dispersed repeats, and iv) Fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) with extended contigs of large insert clones for painting of those chromosomes of a euploid complement which harbour the cloned sequences. While GISH was successfully applied in most plant hybrids and/or their derivatives, painting of individual chromosomes by CISS hybridisations of chromosome-specific DNA probes have so far not revealed convincing results in plants. The reason for this failure and the use of possible alternative approaches are discussed. At least for small plant genomes, painting by large insert single sequence clones provides a promising alternative tool to solve cytogenetic questions, which up to now could not be tackled otherwise. An example of such a painting is described in detail for Arabidopsis thaliana.

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