Dissecting the U, M, S and C genomes of wild relatives of bread wheat (Aegilops spp.) into chromosomes and exploring their synteny with wheat.Plant J. 2016 11; 88(3):452-467.PJ
Goat grasses (Aegilops spp.) contributed to the evolution of bread wheat and are important sources of genes and alleles for modern wheat improvement. However, their use in alien introgression breeding is hindered by poor knowledge of their genome structure and a lack of molecular tools. The analysis of large and complex genomes may be simplified by dissecting them into single chromosomes via flow cytometric sorting. In some species this is not possible due to similarities in relative DNA content among chromosomes within a karyotype. This work describes the distribution of GAA and ACG microsatellite repeats on chromosomes of the U, M, S and C genomes of Aegilops, and the use of microsatellite probes to label the chromosomes in suspension by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISHIS). Bivariate flow cytometric analysis of chromosome DAPI fluorescence and fluorescence of FITC-labelled microsatellites made it possible to discriminate all chromosomes and sort them with negligible contamination by other chromosomes. DNA of purified chromosomes was used as a template for polymerase chain reation (PCR) using Conserved Orthologous Set (COS) markers with known positions on wheat A, B and D genomes. Wheat-Aegilops macrosyntenic comparisons using COS markers revealed significant rearrangements in the U and C genomes, while the M and S genomes exhibited structure similar to wheat. Purified chromosome fractions provided an attractive resource to investigate the structure and evolution of the Aegilops genomes, and the COS markers assigned to Aegilops chromosomes will facilitate alien gene introgression into wheat.