Functional analysis of the Arabidopsis centromere by T-DNA insertion-induced centromere breakage

Minoru Murata, Etsuko Yokota, Fukashi Shibata, Kazunari Kashihara

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Two minichromosomes (α and δ) in addition to two other aberrant chromosomes (β and γ) were found in a transgenic Arabidopsis plant produced by an in planta vacuum infiltration technique. The minichromosomes were successfully separated by successive crossing and selfing and added to wild-type Columbia (Col-0) as a supernumerary chromosome. FISH indicated that both of the two minichromosomes originated from the short arm of chromosome 2. The mini α chromosome contained the whole short-arm 2S and a truncated centromere (180-bp repeat cluster), whereas mini δ lacked the terminal region including telomere repeats. Pachytene FISH clearly revealed that mini δ comprised a ring chromosome carrying two copies of the region from the 180-bp repeat cluster to BAC-F3C11. Both of the 180-bp clusters (each ≈500 kb in length) were thought to possess normal centromere functions because the centromere-specific histone H3 variant (HTR12) was detected on both clusters. Notwithstanding this dicentric and ring form, mini δ was stably transmitted to the next generations, perhaps because of its compact size (<4 Mb). Chromosome β also comprised a dicentric-like structure, with one of the two 180-bp repeat sites derived from chromosome 1 and the other from chromosome 2. However, the latter was quite small and failed to bind HTR12. The data obtained in this study indicated that 500 kb of the 180-bp array of the chromosome 2 centromere, from the edge of the 180-bp array on the short-arm side, is sufficient to form a functional domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7511-7516
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - May 27 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Minichromosomes
  • Ring chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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