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Genomic and Genetic Characterization of Rice Cen3 Reveals Extensive Transcription and Evolutionary Implications of a Complex Centromere

Huihuang Yan, Hidetaka Ito, Kan Nobuta, Shu Ouyang, Weiwei Jin, Shulan Tian, Cheng Lu, R. C. Venu, Guo-liang Wang, Pamela J. Green, Rod A. Wing, C. Robin Buell, Blake C. Meyers and Jiming Jiang
The Plant Cell
Vol. 18, No. 9 (Sep., 2006), pp. 2123-2133
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20076769
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Genomic and Genetic Characterization of Rice Cen3 Reveals Extensive Transcription and Evolutionary Implications of a Complex Centromere
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Abstract

The centromere is the chromosomal site for assembly of the kinetochore where spindle fibers attach during cell division. In most multicellular eukaryotes, centromeres are composed of long tracts of satellite repeats that are recalcitrant to sequencing and fine-scale genetic mapping. Here, we report the genomic and genetic characterization of the complete centromere of rice (Oryza sativa) chromosome 3. Using a DNA fiber-fluorescence in situ hybridization approach, we demonstrated that the centromere of chromosome 3 (Cen3) contains ∼441 kb of the centromeric satellite repeat CentO. Cen3 includes an ∼1,881-kb domain associated with the centromeric histone CENH3. This CENH3-associated chromatin domain is embedded within a 3113-kb region that lacks genetic recombination. Extensive transcription was detected within the CENH3 binding domain based on comprehensive annotation of protein-coding genes coupled with empirical measurements of mRNA levels using RT-PCR and massively parallel signature sequencing. Genes <10 kb from the CentO satellite array were expressed in several rice tissues and displayed histone modification patterns consistent with euchromatin, suggesting that rice centromeric chromatin accommodates normal gene expression. These results support the hypothesis that centromeres can evolve from gene-containing genomic regions.

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