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Genetics. 2002 Nov;162(3):1415-22.

Variation in chiasma frequency among eight accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Departamento de Genetica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.


Natural variation in meiotic recombination frequency in Arabidopsis thaliana has been assessed by analyzing chiasma frequency variation among a range of geographically and ecologically diverse accessions. Fifty pollen mother cells at metaphase I of meiosis were analyzed from each of eight accessions and fluorescence in situ hybridization was applied to enable identification of all 10 chromosome arms. There was no significant variation in mean chiasma frequency between plants within accessions, but there was significant variation between accessions. Further analysis confirmed this finding and identified two particular accessions, Cvi and Ler, as having chiasma frequencies significantly lower than those of the other accessions. The analysis also revealed that the pattern of chiasma distribution between arms and among chromosomes is not consistent over accessions. Further detailed analyses were conducted on each individual chromosome (1-5) in turn, revealing that chromosome 4, one of the acrocentric chromosomes, is the least variable while the other acrocentric chromosome (2) is the most variable. These findings indicate the existence of recombination regulatory elements in Arabidopsis and we conclude that it may be possible in the future to identify these elements and determine their mode of action. The practical implications of such developments are considerable.

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