Scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (Salk),
together with researchers from the University of Cambridge and Johns
Hopkins University have sequenced thegenomeof the world's most widely
used model plant species,/Arabidopsis thaliana/, at a level of detail
never previously achieved.
The study reveals the secrets of Arabidopsis chromosome regions called
centromeres, shining the light on centromere evolution and providing
insights into the genomic equivalent of black holes. Arabidopsis was
adopted as a model plant due to its short generation time, small size,
ease of growth, and prolific seed production through self-pollination.
In 2000, it became the first plant to have its genome sequenced. This
initial genome release was of an excellent standard, but was unable to
assemble the highly repetitive and complex regions known as centromeres,
telomeres, and ribosomal DNA. Now, these challenging regions have been
assembled for the first time.
For decades, researchers have tried to understand how and why
centromeric DNA evolves with extraordinary speed, whilst remaining
stable enough to perform its job during cell division. In the study, the
compiled centromere maps provide new insights into the "repeat
ecosystem" found in the centromere. The maps reveal the architecture of
the repeat arrays, which has implications for how they evolve, and for
the chromatin and epigenetic states of the centromeres.
Study shines a light into ‚??black holes‚?Ě in the Arabidopsis genome - Salk
Institute for Biological Studies