A historical and modern perspective on plant cytogenetics

Brief Funct Genomics. 2010 Mar;9(2):95-102. doi: 10.1093/bfgp/elp058. Epub 2010 Jan 27.


Plant cytogenetics has continued to flourish and make essential contributions to genomics projects by delineating marker order, defining contig gaps and revealing genome rearrangements. Here we review the field of plant cytogenetics from its conception through the eras of molecular biology and genomics. Significant advances in chromosome preparation, such as extended fiber-FISH, have greatly increased the axial resolution limits, while imaging and signal amplification technologies have improved our ability to detect small gene-sized probes. Combinations of traditional FISH technologies with chromatin immunocytochemistry serve to broaden the ability of plant cytogenetics to shed light on genome structure and organization. These advances are described, together with selected examples that illustrate the power of plant cytogenetics in guiding genome projects.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytogenetics / history*
  • Cytogenetics / methods*
  • Genomics
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Limit of Detection
  • Plant Cells*
  • Plants / genetics*