Patterns of DNA variation among three centromere satellite families in Arabidopsis halleri and A. lyrata

J Mol Evol. 2007 Feb;64(2):237-47. doi: 10.1007/s00239-006-0097-8. Epub 2006 Dec 9.


We describe patterns of DNA variation among the three centromeric satellite families in Arabidopsis halleri and lyrata. The newly studied subspecies (A. halleri ssp. halleri and A. lyrata ssp. lyrata and petraea), like the previously studied A. halleri ssp. gemmifera and A. lyrata ssp. kawasakiana, have three different centromeric satellite families, the older pAa family (also present in A. arenosa) and two families, pAge1 and pAge2, that probably evolved more recently. Sequence variability is high in all three satellite families, and the pAa sequences do not cluster by their species of origin. Diversity in the pAge2 family is complex, and different from variation among copies of the other two families, showing clear evidence for exchange events among family members, especially in A. halleri ssp. halleri. In A. lyrata ssp. lyrata there is some evidence for recent rapid spread of pAge2 variants, suggesting selection favoring these sequences.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / classification*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Centromere / genetics*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • DNA, Satellite / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Amplification
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Phylogeny*


  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Satellite