Differentiating sex chromosomes of the dioecious Spinacia oleracea L. (spinach) by FISH of 45S rDNA

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2006;114(2):175-7. doi: 10.1159/000093335.


Spinacia oleracea L. (spinach) is a dioecious species with both male and female plants having 2n = 2x = 12 chromosomes, consisting of two large metacentrics, two long subtelocentrics, two short subtelocentrics, two acrocentrics, and four submetacentrics. The location of 45S rDNA was investigated on metaphase chromosomes using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The numbers of 45S rDNA foci in diploid sets of chromosomes from females was six and from males was five. All the fluorescent foci lay in secondary constrictions and the satellites. Our results indicate that an XY-type sex chromosome system could be present in spinach where the Y chromosome lacks a 45S RNA focus.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence*
  • Karyotyping
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Spinacia oleracea / genetics*


  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, ribosomal, 45S