Non-Rabl patterns of centromere and telomere distribution in the interphase nuclei of plant cells

Chromosome Res. 1998 Nov;6(7):551-8. doi: 10.1023/a:1009280425125.


At the anaphase of cell divisions, the divided chromosomes move to the two poles, with the centromeres as heads and telomeres as tails. Such a polarized orientation of centromeres and telomeres is believed to be preserved in the interphase and is known as Rabl model. We analyzed the distributions of centromeres and telomeres in interphase nuclei from several plant species. Although Rabl polarity was observed in wheat, rye, barley and oats, non-Rabl patterns were discovered in sorghum, rice and maize. In the non-Rabl patterns, both centromeres and telomeres were dispersed throughout the interphase nucleus, except in the area occupied by the nucleolus. Both Rabl and non-Rabl distribution patterns of centromeres and telomeres were consistent in interphase nuclei derived from meristematic root tip cells, microspore mother cells and differentiated leaf cells. Our study demonstrated that there is a diversity of interphase chromatin organization and that the classical Rabl model is not universal in plant species.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Avena / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure*
  • Centromere / ultrastructure*
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Hordeum / genetics
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Interphase*
  • Models, Biological
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Plants / ultrastructure*
  • Secale / genetics
  • Telomere / ultrastructure*
  • Triticum / genetics
  • Zea mays / genetics


  • Oligonucleotide Probes