A Family of Differentially Amplified Repetitive DNA Sequences in the Genus Beta Reveals Genetic Variation in Beta vulgaris Subspecies and Cultivars
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Members of a highly abundant restriction satellite family have been isolated from the wild beet species Beta nana. The satellite DNA sequence is characterized by a conserved RsaI restriction site and is present in three of four sections of the genus Beta, namely Nanae, Corollinae, and Beta. It was not detected in species of the evolutionary old section Procumbentes, suggesting its amplification after separation of this section. Sequences of eight monomers were aligned revealing a size variation from 209 to 233 bp and an AT content ranging from 56.5% to 60.5%. The similarity between monomers in B. nana varied from 77.7% to 92.2%. Diverged subfamilies were identified by sequence analysis and Southern hybridization. A comparative study of this repetitive DNA element by fluorescent in situ hybridization and Southern analyses in three representative species was performed showing a variable genomic organization and heterogeneous localizations along metaphase chromosomes both within and between species. In B. nana the copy number of this satellite, with some 30,000 per haploid genome, is more than tenfold higher than in Beta lomatogona and up to 200 times higher than in Beta vulgaris, indicating different levels of sequence amplification during evolution in the genus Beta. In sugar beet (B. vulgaris), the large-scale organization of this tandem repeat was examined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Southern hybridization to genomic DNA digested with DraI demonstrated that satellite arrays are located in AT-rich regions and the tandem repeat is a useful probe for the detection of genetic variation in closely related B. vulgaris cultivars, accessions, and subspecies.
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