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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jul 12;102(28):9842-7. Epub 2005 Jul 5.

Stable barley chromosomes without centromeric repeats.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Genetics, Graduate School of Agriculture and Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


The satellite sequences (AGGGAG)(n) and Ty3/gypsy-like retrotransposons are known to localize at the barley centromeres. Using a gametocidal system, which induces chromosomal mutations in barley chromosomes added to common wheat, we obtained an isochromosome for the short arm of barley chromosome 7H (7HS) that lacked the barley-specific satellite sequence (AGGGAG)(n). Two telocentric derivatives of the isochromosome arose in the progeny: 7HS* with and 7HS** without the pericentromeric C-band. FISH analysis demonstrated that both telosomes lacked not only the barley-specific centromeric (AGGGAG)(n) repeats and retroelements but also any of the known wheat centromeric tandem repeats, including the 192-bp, 250-bp, and TaiI sequences. Although they lacked these centromeric repeats, 7HS* and 7HS** both showed normal mitotic and meiotic transmission. Translocation of barley centromeric repeats to a wheat chromosome 4A did not generate a dicentric chromosome. Indirect immunostaining revealed that all tested centromere-specific proteins (rice CENH3, maize CENP-C, and putative barley homologues of the yeast kinetochore proteins CBF5 and SKP1) and histone H3 phosphorylated at serines 10 and 28 localized at the centromeric region of 7HS*. We conclude that the barley centromeric repeats are neither sufficient nor obligatory to assemble kinetochores, and we discuss the possible formation of a novel centromere in a barley chromosome.

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