Dioecious species accounted for 6% of all plant species, including a number of crops and economically important species, such as poplar. However, sex determination and sex chromosome evolution have been studied only in few dioecious species. In poplar, the sex-determining locus was mapped to chromosome 19. Interestingly, this locus was mapped to either a peritelomeric or a centromeric region among different poplar species. We developed an oligonucleotide (oligo)-based chromosome painting probe based on the sequence of chromosome 19 from Populus trichocarpa. We performed chromosome painting in P. tomentosa and P. deltoides. Surprisingly, the distal end on the short arm of chromosome 19, which corresponds to the location of the sex-determining locus reported in several species, was not painted in both species. Thus, the DNA sequences associated with this region have not been anchored to the current chromosome 19 pseudomolecule, which was confirmed by painting of somatic metaphase chromosome 19 of P. trichocarpa. Interestingly, the unpainted distal ends of the two chromosome 19 did not pair at the pachytene stage in 22–24% of the meiotic cells in the two species, suggest that these regions from the sex chromosomes have structurally diverged from each other, resulting in the reduced pairing frequency. These results shed light on divergence of a pair of young sex chromosomes in poplar.
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The authors thank Dr. Qiang Cheng (Nanjing Forestry University, China) and Dr. Wenli Zhang (Nanjing Agriculture University, China) for their valuable discussion and advice for this research.
The research was supported by grant 31670603 from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, grant 16KJA220001 from the Jiangsu Provincial Key Basic Research Foundation for Universities, the Doctorate Fellowship Foundation of Nanjing Forestry University, and funds from the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.
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Xin, H., Zhang, T., Han, Y. et al. Chromosome painting and comparative physical mapping of the sex chromosomes in Populus tomentosa and Populus deltoides. Chromosoma 127, 313–321 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00412-018-0664-y
- Chromosome painting
- Sex chromosome
- Chromosome pairing