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J Genet Genomics. 2009 Sep;36(9):529-37. doi: 10.1016/S1673-8527(08)60144-7.

An overview of plant centromeres.

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  • 1National Maize Improvement Center of China, Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and Genome of Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China.


The centromere is a defining region that mediates chromosome attachment to kinetochore microtubules and proper segregation of the sister chromatids. Intriguingly, satellite DNA and centromeric retrotransposon as major DNA constituents of centromere showed baffling diversification and species-specific. However, the key kinetochore proteins are conserved in both plants and animals, particularly the centromere-specific histone H3-like protein (CENH3) in all functional centromeres. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of epigenetic mechanisms in the establishment and maintenance of centromere identity. Here, we review the progress and compendium of research on plant centromere in the light of recent data.

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