Chromosome Research

, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 387–399 | Cite as

The 5S rRNA Gene Clusters Have a Defined Orientation Toward the Nucleolus in Petunia Hybrida and Crepis Capillaris

  • M. B. Montijn
  • A. B. Houtsmuller
  • R. ten Hoopen
  • J. L. Oud
  • N. Nanninga


The 3D localization of the 5S ribosomal RNA genes was studied in cells of the cortex zone of roots in the plant species Petunia hybrida inbred line V26 and in Crepis capillaris. The analysis was carried out on interphase nuclei (both species) and on prophase nuclei (C. capillaris). The 5S ribosomal RNA genes were detected by fluorescence in-situ hybridization and 3D images were obtained by confocal scanning laser microscopy. In both plant species, the 5S ribosomal genes were localized at the short arm of chromosome 2, which, in both plants, also possesses a satellite at its end. Statistical and visual analysis of interphase nuclei showed that: (1) there is a preference for an association of the 5S rRNA gene clusters of the two homologous chromosomes, and (2) the 5S rRNA gene clusters in both species had a preserved spatial position within the interphase nucleus and they tended to be polarized with respect to their neighbouring cells (i.e. a relic telophase orientation). Moreover, tracing of the chromosomal segment between the 5S loci and the active NOR revealed that the homologous chromosomes during early/mid prophase were aligned and that they entered the nucleolus side by side, at least for these chromosome segments. We interpret our data to mean that location of 5S rRNA near the nucleolus favours their functioning in ribosome biogenesis.

confocal microscopy Crepis capillaris fluorescense in-situ hybridization nucleolus Petunia hybrida 5S ribosomal RNA genes 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. B. Montijn
    • 1
  • A. B. Houtsmuller
    • 2
  • R. ten Hoopen
    • 3
  • J. L. Oud
    • 1
  • N. Nanninga
    • 1
  1. 1.BioCentrum Amsterdam, Insititute for Molecular Cell BiologyUniversity of AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PathologyErasmus University RotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)GaterslebenGermany

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