Spatial distribution of centromeres and telomeres at interphase varies among Brachypodium species

J Exp Bot. 2015 Nov;66(21):6623-34. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv369. Epub 2015 Jul 24.


In this study the 3-D distribution of centromeres and telomeres was analysed in the interphase nuclei of three Brachypodium species, i.e. B. distachyon (2n=10), B. stacei (2n=20) and B. hybridum (2n=30), which is presumably a hybrid between the first two species. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with centromeric and telomeric DNA probes, it was observed that the majority of B. distachyon nuclei in the root tip cells displayed the Rabl configuration while both B. stacei and B. hybridum mostly lacked the centromere-telomere polarization. In addition, differentiated leaf cells of B. distachyon did not display the Rabl pattern. In order to analyse the possible connection between the occurrence of the Rabl pattern and the phase of cell cycle or DNA content, FISH was combined with digital image cytometry. The results revealed that the frequency of nuclei with the Rabl configuration in the root tip nuclei was positively correlated with an increase in DNA content, which resulted from DNA replication. Also, the analysis of the influence of the nuclear shape on the nuclear architecture indicated that an increasing elongation of the nuclei negatively affected the occurrence of the Rabl pattern. Some possible explanations of these phenomena are discussed.

Keywords: Brachypodium; Rabl configuration; centromeres; interphase; model grass; molecular cytogenetics; telomeres..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brachypodium / genetics*
  • Centromere / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Plant*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Meristem
  • Species Specificity
  • Telomere / genetics*