Research Article

Genetic Definition and Sequence Analysis of Arabidopsis Centromeres

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Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2468-2474
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2468

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High-precision genetic mapping was used to define the regions that contain centromere functions on each natural chromosome inArabidopsis thaliana. These regions exhibited dramatic recombinational repression and contained complex DNA surrounding large arrays of 180–base pair repeats. Unexpectedly, the DNA within the centromeres was not merely structural but also encoded several expressed genes. The regions flanking the centromeres were densely populated by repetitive elements yet experienced normal levels of recombination. The genetically defined centromeres were well conserved among Arabidopsis ecotypes but displayed limited sequence homology between different chromosomes, excluding repetitive DNA. This investigation provides a platform for dissecting the role of individual sequences in centromeres in higher eukaryotes.

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