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Genetics. 2002 Aug;161(4):1661-72.

Chromosomal map of the model legume Lotus japonicus.

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Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.


Lotus japonicus is a model plant for the legume family. To facilitate map-based cloning approaches and genome analysis, we performed an extensive characterization of the chromosome complement of the species. A detailed karyotype of L. japonicus Gifu was built and plasmid and BAC clones, corresponding to genetically mapped markers (see the accompanying article by Sandal et al. 2002, this issue), were used for FISH to correlate genetic and chromosomal maps. Hybridization of DNA clones from 32 different genomic regions enabled the assignment of linkage groups to chromosomes, the comparison between genetic and physical distances throughout the genome, and the partial characterization of different repetitive sequences, including telomeric and centromeric repeats. Additional analysis of L. filicaulis and its F(1) hybrid with L. japonicus demonstrated the occurrence of inversions between these closely related species, suggesting that these chromosome rearrangements are early events in speciation of this group.

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