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Genetics. 2002 May;161(1):345-53.

A molecular cytogenetic map of sorghum chromosome 1. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis with mapped bacterial artificial chromosomes.

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  • 1Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.


We used structural genomic resources for Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench to target and develop multiple molecular cytogenetic probes that would provide extensive coverage for a specific chromosome of sorghum. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones containing molecular markers mapped across sorghum linkage group A were labeled as probes for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Signals from single-, dual-, and multiprobe BAC-FISH to spreads of mitotic chromosomes and pachytene bivalents were associated with the largest sorghum chromosome, which bears the nucleolus organizing region (NOR). The order of individual BAC-FISH loci along the chromosome was fully concordant to that of marker loci along the linkage map. In addition, the order of several tightly linked molecular markers was clarified by FISH analysis. The FISH results indicate that markers from the linkage map positions 0.0-81.8 cM reside in the short arm of chromosome 1 whereas markers from 81.8-242.9 cM are located in the long arm of chromosome 1. The centromere and NOR were located in a large heterochromatic region that spans approximately 60% of chromosome 1. In contrast, this region represents only 0.7% of the total genetic map distance of this chromosome. Variation in recombination frequency among euchromatic chromosomal regions also was apparent. The integrated data underscore the value of cytological data, because minor errors and uncertainties in linkage maps can involve huge physical regions. The successful development of multiprobe FISH cocktails suggests that it is feasible to develop chromosome-specific "paints" from genomic resources rather than flow sorting or microdissection and that when applied to pachytene chromatin, such cocktails provide an especially powerful framework for mapping. Such a molecular cytogenetic infrastructure would be inherently cross-linked with other genomic tools and thereby establish a cytogenomics system with extensive utility in development and application of genomic resources, cloning, transgene localization, development of plant "chromonomics," germplasm introgression, and marker-assisted breeding. In combination with previously reported work, the results indicate that a sorghum cytogenomics system would be partially applicable to other gramineous genera.

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