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Chromosomal differentiation and genome size in three European mountain Lilium species


 Three related and taxonomically close species of the genus Lilium (L. pyrenaicum Gouan, L. pomponium L. and L. carniolicum Bernh.), all of them with 2n=24 chromosomes, have been studied for chromosomal differentiation, using fluorochrome banding and fluorescence in situhybridization (FISH), and for genome size and GC percentage using flow cytometry. The total DNA content of L. pomponium (2C=70.26 pg) was about 5% higher than that of L. pyrenaicum (2C=67.74) and L. carniolicum (2C=67.37 pg), while GC percentage was higher in this last species (36.60%) than in L. pomponium (35.56%) and lower than in L. pyrenaicum (37.92%). Silver staining, fluorochrome banding with chromomycin A3 (CMA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) clearly pointed out the number of nucleoli, the number and position of GC-rich bands and the number and location of rDNA sites thus permitting distinction of the three species at chromosomal level. Two families of ribosomal genes, 18S-5.8S-26S (18S) and 5S rRNA genes, were separated onto different pairs in chromosome complements of examined species. Chromosome regions containing both kinds of rRNA genes were also GC-rich regions. The results revealed a clear interspecific differentiation at the chromosomal level and permitted the discussion about relationships among the species.

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Received June 21, 2002; accepted October 4, 2002 Published online: Febraury 7, 2003

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Siljak-Yakovlev, S., Peccenini, S., Muratovic, E. et al. Chromosomal differentiation and genome size in three European mountain Lilium species. Plant Syst. Evol. 236, 165–173 (2003).

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  • Key words: DNA amount, nucleolar organizing regions (NORs), rDNA, Lilium pyrenaicum, L. pomponium, L. carniolicum.