Chromosome painting in plants: in situ hybridization with a DNA probe from a specific microdissected chromosome arm of common wheat.


We report here on the successful painting of a specific plant chromosome within its own genome. Isochromosomes for the long arm of chromosome 5 of the wheat B genome (5BL) were microdissected from first meiotic metaphase spreads of a monoisosomic 5BL line of the common wheat Triticum aestivum cv. Chinese Spring. The dissected isochromosomes were amplified by degenerate oligonucleotide-primed PCR in a single tube reaction. The amplified DNA was used as a complex probe mixture for fluorescent in situ hybridization on first meiotic metaphase spreads of lines carrying 5BL as a distinctive marker. Hybridization signals were observed, specifically, along the entire 5BL. In some of the cells, labeling was also detected in two bivalents, presumably those of the 5B "homoeologues" (partial homologues) found in common wheat (5A and 5D). The probe also revealed discrete domains in tapetal nuclei at interphase, further supporting the probe's high specificity. These data suggest that chromosome and homoeologous group-specific sequences are more abundant in 5BL than genome-specific sequences. Chromosome-painting probes, such as the one described here for 5BL, can facilitate the study of chromosome evolution in polyploid wheat.

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