, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 205-222

Repeated sequence DNA relationships in four cereal genomes

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The effect of DNA fragment size on the extent of hybridisation that occurs between repeated sequence DNAs from oats, barley, wheat and rye has been investigated. The extent of hybridisation is very dependent on fragment size, at least over the range of 200 to 1000 nucleotides. This is because only a fraction of each fragment forms duplex DNA during renaturation. From these results estimates of the proportions of repeated sequences of each of the cereal genomes that are homologous with repeated sequences in the other species have been determined and a phylogenetic tree of cereal evolution constructed on the basis of the repeated sequence DNA homologies. It is proposed that wheat and rye diverged after their common ancestor had diverged from the ancestor of barley. This was preceded by the divergence of the common ancestor of wheat, rye and barley and the ancestor of oats. Once introduced in Gramineae evolution most families of repeated sequences appear to have been maintained in all subsequently diverging species. — The repeated sequences of oats, barley, wheat and rye have been divided into Groups based upon their presence or absence in different species. Repeated sequences of related families are more closely related to one another within a species than between species. It is suggested that this is because repeated sequences have been involved in many rounds of amplification or quantitative change via unequal crossing over during species divergence in cereal evolution.