Key words Fluorescence in situ hybridization
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with multiple probes has been applied to meiotic chromosome spreads derived from ph1b common wheat x rye hybrid plants. The probes used included pSc74 and pSc 119.2 from rye (the latter also hybridizes on wheat, mainly B genome chromosomes), the Ae. squarrosa pAs1 probe, which hybridizes almost exclusively on D genome chromosomes, and wheat rDNA probes pTa71 and pTa794. Simultaneous and sequential FISH with a two-by-two combination of these probes allowed unequivocal identification of all of the rye (R) and most of the wheat (W) chromosomes, either unpaired or involved in pairing. Thus not only could wheat-wheat and wheat-rye associations be easily discriminated, which was already feasible by the sole use of the rye-specific pSc74 probe, but the individual pairing partners could also be identified. Of the wheat-rye pairing observed, which averaged from about 7% to 11% of the total pairing detected in six hybrid plants of the same cross combination, most involved B genome chromosomes (about 70%), and to a much lesser degree, those of the D (almost 17%) and A (14%) genomes. Rye arms 1RL and 5RL showed the highest pairing frequency (over 30%), followed by 2RL (11%) and 4RL (about 8%), with much lower values for all the other arms. 2RS and 5RS were never observed to pair in the sample analysed. Chromosome arms 1RL, 1RS, 2RL, 3RS, 4RS and 6RS were observed to be exclusively bound to wheat chromosomes of the same homoeologous group. The opposite was true for 4RL (paired with 6BS and 7BS) and 6RL (paired with 7BL). 5RL, on the other hand, paired with 4WL arms or segments of them in more than 80% of the cases and with 5WL in the remaining ones. Additional cases of pairing involving wheat chromosomes belonging to more than one homoeologous group occurred with 3RL, 7RS and 7RL. These results, while adding support to previous evidence about the existence of several translocations in the rye genome relative to that of wheat, show that FISH with multiple probes is an efficient method by which to study fundamental aspects of chromosome behaviour at meiosis, such as interspecific pairing. The type of knowledge attainable from this approach is expected to have a significant impact on both theoretical and applied research concerning wheat and related Triticeae.
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