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Mol Genet Genomics. 2002 Feb;266(6):979-87. Epub 2001 Dec 19.

A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for sunflower, and identification of clones containing genes for putative transmembrane receptors.

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  • 1INP-ENSAT, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie et Amélioration des Plantes, Pôle de Biotechnologie Végétale, 18 Chemin de Borde Rouge, BP17, Auzeville, 31326 Castanet Tolosan, France. gentzbittel@ensat.fr

Abstract

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is an economically important oil seed crop with an estimated genome size of 3000 Mb. We have constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for sunflower, which represents an estimated 4- to 5-fold coverage of the genome. Nuclei isolated from young leaves were used as a source of high-molecular-weight DNA and a partial restriction endonuclease digestion protocol was used to cleave the DNA. A random sample of 60 clones indicated an average insert size of 80 kb, implying a 95% probability of recovering any specific sequence of interest. The library was screened with chloroplast DNA probes. Only 0.1% of the clones were identified to be of chloroplast origin, indicating that contamination with organellar DNAs is very low. The utility of the library was evaluated by screening for the presence of genes for putative transmembrane receptors sharing epidermal growth factor (EGF) and integrin-like domains. First, a homologous sunflower EST (HaELP1) was obtained by degenerate RT-PCR cloning, using Arabidopsis thaliana genes (AtELP) as a source of consensus sequences. Three different BACs yielded positive hybridization signals when HaELP1 was used as a probe. BAC subcloning and sequencing demonstrated the presence of two different loci putatively homologous to genes for transmembrane proteins with EGF- and integrin-like domains from sunflower. This work demonstrates the suitability of the library for homology map-based cloning of sunflower genes and physical mapping of the sunflower genome.

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