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Olomouc, Czech Republic

Dolezel J.,Institute of Experimental Botany | Greilhuber J.,University of Vienna
Cytometry Part A | Year: 2010

Correct information on genome size is important in many areas of research. For a long time, scientists have been struggling to understand the reason for the huge variation in eukaryotic genome size and its biological significance. More recently, the knowledge on genome size has become important to structure genome sequencing projects as their scale and cost depend on genome size. Despite the fact that the first estimates of genome size in eukaryotes were made more than 50 years ago, we are still not quite sure about the exact genome size in practically all animal and plant species. Moreover, different estimates continue to be published for the same species. These discrepancies compromise data comparison and interpretation and point to methodological problems, which include standardization. This article assesses the current state of DNA reference standards for flow cytometry and the issues related to their calibration. Copyright © 2010 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

Mahelka V.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Kopeck D.,Institute of Experimental Botany | Patova L.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2011

Abstract. Background: The wheat tribe Triticeae (Poaceae) is a diverse group of grasses representing a textbook example of reticulate evolution. Apart from globally important grain crops, there are also wild grasses which are of great practical value. Allohexaploid intermediate wheatgrass, Thinopyrum intermedium (2n = 6x = 42), possesses many desirable agronomic traits that make it an invaluable source of genetic material useful in wheat improvement. Although the identification of its genomic components has been the object of considerable investigation, the complete genomic constitution and its potential variability are still being unravelled. To identify the genomic constitution of this allohexaploid, four accessions of intermediate wheatgrass from its native area were analysed by sequencing of chloroplast trnL-F and partial nuclear GBSSI, and genomic in situ hybridization. Results: The results confirmed the allopolyploid origin of Thinopyrum intermedium and revealed new aspects in its genomic composition. Genomic heterogeneity suggests a more complex origin of the species than would be expected if it originated through allohexaploidy alone. While Pseudoroegneria is the most probable maternal parent of the accessions analysed, nuclear GBSSI sequences suggested the contribution of distinct lineages corresponding to the following present-day genera: Pseudoroegneria, Dasypyrum, Taeniatherum, Aegilops and Thinopyrum. Two subgenomes of the hexaploid have most probably been contributed by Pseudoroegneria and Dasypyrum, but the identity of the third subgenome remains unresolved satisfactorily. Possibly it is of hybridogenous origin, with contributions from Thinopyrum and Aegilops. Surprising diversity of GBSSI copies corresponding to a Dasypyrum-like progenitor indicates either multiple contributions from different sources close to Dasypyrum and maintenance of divergent copies or the presence of divergent paralogs, or a combination of both. Taeniatherum-like GBSSI copies are most probably pseudogenic, and the mode of their acquisition by Th. intermedium remains unclear. Conclusions: Hybridization has played a key role in the evolution of the Triticeae. Transfer of genetic material via extensive interspecific hybridization and/or introgression could have enriched the species' gene pools significantly. We have shown that the genomic heterogeneity of intermediate wheatgrass is higher than has been previously assumed, which is of particular concern to wheat breeders, who frequently use it as a source of desirable traits in wheat improvement. © 2011 Mahelka et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Kopecky D.,Institute of Experimental Botany | Studer B.,ETH Zurich
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2014

Grassland is of major importance for agricultural production and provides valuable ecosystem services. Its impact is likely to rise in changing socio-economic and climatic environments. High yielding forage grass species are major components of sustainable grassland production. Understanding the genome structure and function of grassland species provides opportunities to accelerate crop improvement and thus to mitigate the future challenges of increased feed and food demand, scarcity of natural resources such as water and nutrients, and high product qualities.In this review, we will discuss a selection of technological developments that served as main drivers to generate new insights into the structure and function of nuclear genomes. Many of these technologies were originally developed in human or animal science and are now increasingly applied in plant genomics. Our main goal is to highlight the benefits of using these technologies for forage and turf grass genome research, to discuss their potentials and limitations as well as their relevance for future applications. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Mahelka V.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Kopecky D.,Institute of Experimental Botany
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2010

Four accessions of hexaploid Elymus repens from its native Central European distribution area were analyzed using sequencing of multicopy (internal transcribed spacer, ITS) and single-copy (granule-bound starch synthase I, GBSSI) DNA in concert with genomic and fluorescent in situ hybridization (GISH and FISH) to disentangle its allopolyploid origin. Despite extensive ITS homogenization, nrDNA in E. repens allowed us to identify at least four distinct lineages. Apart from Pseudoroegneria and Hordeum, representing the major genome constituents, the presence of further unexpected alien genetic material, originating from species outside the Triticeae and close to Panicum (Paniceae) and Bromus (Bromeae), was revealed. GBSSI sequences provided information complementary to the ITS. Apart from Pseudoroegneria and Hordeum, two additional gene variants from within the Triticeae were discovered: One was Taeniatherum-like, but the other did not have a close relationship with any of the diploids sampled. GISH results were largely congruent with the sequence-based markers. GISH clearly confirmed Pseudoroegneria and Hordeum as major genome constituents and further showed the presence of a small chromosome segment corresponding to Panicum. It resided in the Hordeum subgenome and probably represents an old acquisition of a Hordeum progenitor. Spotty hybridization signals across all chromosomes after GISH with Taeniatherum and Bromus probes suggested that gene acquisition from these species is more likely due to common ancestry of the grasses or early introgression than to recent hybridization or allopolyploid origin of E. repens. Physical mapping of rDNA loci using FISH revealed that all rDNA loci except one minor were located on Pseudoroegneria-derived chromosomes, which suggests the loss of all Hordeum-derived loci but one. Because homogenization mechanisms seem to operate effectively among Pseudoroegneria-like copies in this species, incomplete ITS homogenization in our samples is probably due to an interstitial position of an individual minor rDNA locus located within the Hordeum-derived subgenome. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.

Dolezel J.,Institute of Experimental Botany
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2011

Chromosome analysis and sorting using flow cytometry (flow cytogenetics) is an attractive tool for fractionating plant genomes to small parts. The reduction of complexity greatly simplifies genetics and genomics in plant species with large genomes. However, as flow cytometry requires liquid suspensions of particles, the lack of suitable protocols for preparation of solutions of intact chromosomes delayed the application of flow cytogenetics in plants. This chapter outlines a high-yielding procedure for preparation of solutions of intact mitotic chromosomes from root tips of young seedlings and for their analysis using flow cytometry and sorting. Root tips accumulated at metaphase are mildly fixed with formaldehyde, and solutions of intact chromosomes are prepared by mechanical homogenization. The advantages of the present approach include the use of seedlings, which are easy to handle, and the karyological stability of root meristems, which can be induced to high degree of metaphase synchrony. Chromosomes isolated according to this protocol have well-preserved morphology, withstand shearing forces during sorting, and their DNA is intact and suitable for a range of applications.

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