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Genetics. 2003 May;164(1):299-310.

Cloning and characterization of maize B chromosome sequences derived from microdissection.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Isolation of sequences from the maize B chromosome is always hampered by its high homology with the normal complements. In this study, this handicap was overcome by cloning the sequences from the pachytene B chromosomes dissected out of a slide by a micromanipulator followed by degenerate oligonucleotide-primed PCR. The isolated sequences were found to hybridize with genomic DNA in a B-dosage-dependent manner and with the pachytene B chromosome by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), corroborating their B origin. A total of 19 B sequences were isolated, all of which are repetitive and, with one exception, are homologous to the A chromosome(s). Three sequences have strong homology to maize sequences that include two knob repeats and one zein gene (noncoding region), and 10 others are homologous to the noncoding region of Adh1, Bz1, Gag, Zein, and B centromere to a lesser degree. Six sequences have no homology to any gene. In addition to FISH, the B-specific sequence and a partially B-specific one were also mapped, by seven newly characterized TB-10L translocations, to a similar location on the central portion of the distal heterochromatic region, spreading over a region of about one-third of the B chromosome.

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