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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2011;134(3):220-8. doi: 10.1159/000327713. Epub 2011 May 3.

Holocentric chromosomes of Luzula elegans are characterized by a longitudinal centromere groove, chromosome bending, and a terminal nucleolus organizer region.

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Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben, Germany.


The structure of holocentric chromosomes was analyzed in mitotic cells of Luzula elegans. Light and scanning electron microscopy observations provided evidence for the existence of a longitudinal groove along each sister chromatid. The centromere-specific histone H3 variant, CENH3, colocalized with this groove and with microtubule attachment sites. The terminal chromosomal regions were CENH3-negative. During metaphase to anaphase transition, L. elegans chromosomes typically curved to a sickle-like shape, a process that is likely to be influenced by the pulling forces of microtubules along the holocentric axis towards the corresponding microtubule organizing regions. A single pair of 45S rDNA sites, situated distal to Arabidopsis-telomere repeats, was observed at the terminal region of one chromosome pair. We suggest that the 45S rDNA position in distal centromere-free regions could be required to ensure chromosome stability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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