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Chromosome Res. 1997 Feb;5(1):57-65.

Isolation and characterization of X chromosome-derived DNA sequences from a dioecious plant Melandrium album.

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  • 1Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Strasbourg, France.


A number of X chromosome DNA sequences have been isolated from a dioecious plant, Melandrium album (syn. Silene latifolia), using chromosome microdissection followed by degenerate oligonucleotideprimed polymerase chain reaction (DOP-PCR) amplification. Six DNA clones were selected and further characterized by DNA/DNA hybridization techniques to check their copy numbers, sex-specific methylation patterns, species specificity and positions on chromosomes. These clones were moderately to highly repetitive (approximately 10(3)-10(5) copies per haploid genome) and none of them gave a positive signal on Northern blots. One of the clones yielded a sex-specific methylation pattern: its abundant non-methylated CCGG island was found only in males. All the clones also hybridized to two closely related dioecious Melandrium species (M. rubrum and M. dicline). Nucleotide sequences of two X-derived clones showed a number of internal short direct repeats; one of them strikingly resembled a plant conservative telomere sequence (TTTAGGG). None of the clones hybridized to the X chromosome only, but all were localized at the telomeric heterochromatic regions (DAPI C-bands) of both arms of a vast majority of M. album chromosomes using the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique. However, the non-homologous arm of the Y chromosome (contrary to the arm homologous to the X chromosome, possessing the pseudoautosomal region) showed neither a DAPI C-banding-stained heterochromatin nor a FISH signal with any of the DNA probes tested, thus indicating its evolutionary diversification.

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