Diversity of chromosomal karyotypes in maize and its relatives

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2010 Jul;129(1-3):6-16. doi: 10.1159/000314342. Epub 2010 Jun 14.


Maize is a highly diverse species on the gene sequence level. With the recent development of methods to distinguish each of the 10 pairs of homologues in somatic root tip spreads, a wide collection of maize lines was subjected to karyotype analysis to serve as a reference for the community and to examine the spectrum of chromosomal features in the species. The core nested association mapping progenitor collection and additional selections of diversity lines were examined. Commonly used inbred lines were included in the analysis. The centromere 4 specific repeat and ribosomal RNA loci were invariant. The CentC centromere repeat exhibited extensive differences in quantity on any particular chromosome across lines. Knob heterochromatin was highly variable with locations at many sites in the genome. Lastly, representative examples from other species in the genus Zea (teosintes) were examined, which provide information on the evolution of chromosomal features.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breeding
  • Centromere / genetics
  • Chromosome Painting
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Edible Grain / classification
  • Edible Grain / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Heterozygote
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Species Specificity
  • Spectral Karyotyping
  • Translocation, Genetic
  • Zea mays / classification
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • DNA, Plant