Analysis of 106 kb of contiguous DNA sequence from the D genome of wheat reveals high gene density and a complex arrangement of genes related to disease resistance

Genome. 2002 Oct;45(5):963-72. doi: 10.1139/g02-049.


Vast differences exist in genome sizes of higher plants; however, gene count remains relatively constant among species. Differences observed in DNA content can be attributed to retroelement amplification leading to genome expansion. Cytological and genetic studies have demonstrated that genes are clustered in islands rather than distributed at random in the genome. Analysis of gene islands within highly repetitive genomes of plants like wheat remains largely unstudied. The objective of our work was to sequence and characterize a contiguous DNA sequence from chromosome IDS of Aegilops tauschii. An RFLP probe that maps to the Lr21 region of IDS was used to isolate a single BAC. The BAC was sequenced and is 106 kb in length. The contiguous DNA sequence contains a 46-kb retroelement-free gene island containing seven coding sequences. Within the gene island is a complex arrangement of resistance and defense response genes. Overall gene density in this BAC is 1 gene per 8.9 kb. This report demonstrates that wheat and its relatives do contain regions with gene densities similar to that of Arabidopsis.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Retroelements
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Triticum / genetics*


  • DNA, Plant
  • Retroelements