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Cell. 2000 Feb 4;100(3):377-86.

The complete sequence of a heterochromatic island from a higher eukaryote. The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Washington University Genome Sequencing Center, and PE Biosystems Arabidopsis Sequencing Consortium.

[No authors listed]


Heterochromatin, constitutively condensed chromosomal material, is widespread among eukaryotes but incompletely characterized at the nucleotide level. We have sequenced and analyzed 2.1 megabases (Mb) of Arabidopsis thaliana chromosome 4 that includes 0.5-0.7 Mb of isolated heterochromatin that resembles the chromosomal knobs described by Barbara McClintock in maize. This isolated region has a low density of expressed genes, low levels of recombination and a low incidence of genetrap insertion. Satellite repeats were absent, but tandem arrays of long repeats and many transposons were found. Methylation of these sequences was dependent on chromatin remodeling. Clustered repeats were associated with condensed chromosomal domains elsewhere. The complete sequence of a heterochromatic island provides an opportunity to study sequence determinants of chromosome condensation.

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