Evolution of 5S rDNA units and their chromosomal localization in Allium cepa and Allium schoenoprasum revealed by microdissection and FISH
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Allium cepa and Allium schoenoprasum each possess 5S rDNA units of two different sizes. The evolution of the two repeat units and their chromosomal localization were investigated. A. cepa has 5S rDNA loci in the proximal and distal regions of the short arm of chromosome 7. When the proximal and distal segments of the short arm of chromosome 7 were microdissected separately, and used as templates for PCR, the short and long 5S rDNA fragments were amplified predominantly from the proximal and distal segments, respectively. The nucleotide sequence of the long 5S rDNA unit resulted from partial duplication of a non-transcribed spacer (NTS) and the insertion of a unique sequence. FISH using a probe consisting of the unique sequence demonstrated that the long unit was distally localized. In A. cepa, the long 5S rDNA unit is only present distally and the short unit is predominantly located proximally on the short arm of chromosome 7. In A. schoenoprasum, the NTSs of the two different-sized 5S rDNAs had quite different sequences. The two 5S rDNA loci were localized very close together in the interstitial region of chromosome 6. FISH, using long and short 5S rDNA unit probes with a competitor of a 120-bp sequence of the 5S rRNA gene, indicated that the long 5S rDNA unit was localized proximally and the short unit distally. Although the NTSs of the 5S rDNA of A. cepa and A. schoenoprasum had quite different nucleotide sequences, the long 5S rDNA units of A. cepa and A. schoenoprasum share a common 75-bp sequence. This sequence might act in the formation of the long 5S rDNA unit in Allium species.
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