Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 7:987 | Cite as

Genome size and cytogenetic characterization of three Algerian Retama species

  • Radia Benmiloud-Mahieddine
  • Mona Abirached-Darmency
  • Spencer C. Brown
  • Meriem Kaid-Harche
  • Sonja Siljak-Yakovlev
Original Paper


Thirty-three populations belonging to the three Retama species, Retama monosperma, Retama raetam and Retama sphaerocarpa, were collected to study species differentiation using flow cytometry for 2C DNA assessment and molecular cytogenetics for karyotype organisation. All were 2n = 48. Genome size ranged from 1.76 to 1.97 pg and revealed significant intraspecific variation correlated to the geographic distribution of the populations. The number and position of the two ribosomal gene families 5S and 45S were determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization, revealing chromosome reorganisation between species. In R. raetam and R. monosperma, the minor 5S loci co-localised with 45S on the satellite chromosome pair. Fluorochrome banding identified GC- and AT-rich DNA regions. In R. monosperma a unique chromomycin positive GC-rich band was observed associated with the secondary constriction. In contrast, an original pattern showing two chromomycin positive bands localised at each side of the extended rDNA locus was observed in R. sphaerocarpa and R. raetam. The polymorphism revealed in our cytogenetic data allowed us to separate the group of R. raetam and R. monosperma from R. sphaerocarpa.


FISH Flow cytometry Fluorochrome banding Genome size rDNA 



We are indebted to Odile Robin and Olivier Catrice for the technical assistance in cytogenetics and cytometry respectively, to Mrs Ainoya who accompanied us for consulting plant material at the “Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris”, to Dr Christophe Lecomte from Institut national de la recherche agronomique Dijon for the statistical analysis on genome size and to two anonymous referees whose comments have improved the manuscript. Cytometry was done on the Imagif Platform with the support of the IFR87 La plante et son environnement. This work is the part of the project MDU 530 financed by Comité Mixte d’Evaluation et de Prospective de Coopération Interuniversitaire Franco-Algérienne which we thank for the financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radia Benmiloud-Mahieddine
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mona Abirached-Darmency
    • 2
  • Spencer C. Brown
    • 3
  • Meriem Kaid-Harche
    • 1
  • Sonja Siljak-Yakovlev
    • 4
  1. 1.Département de Biotechnologies VégétalesUniversité des Sciences et de la Technologie Mohamed Boudiaf d’OranOranAlgeria
  2. 2.UMR 102 Genetics and Ecophysiology of Grain Legumes, INRADijonFrance
  3. 3.Compartimentation Cellulaire, Institut des Sciences du VégétalGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  4. 4.Univ. Paris-Sud XI, Ecologie, Systématique, EvolutionOrsayFrance

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