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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685


CABRAL, Juliano S.; FELIX, Leonardo P.  and  GUERRA, Marcelo. Heterochromatin diversity and its co-localization with 5S and 45S rDNA sites in chromosomes of four Maxillaria species (Orchidaceae). Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2006, vol.29, n.4, pp.659-664. ISSN 1415-4757.

We investigated four orchids of the genus Maxillaria (M. discolor, M. acicularis, M. notylioglossa and M. desvauxiana) in regard to the position of heterochromatin blocks as revealed using chromomycin A3 (CMA) and 4'-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) fluorochrome staining and 5S and 45S rDNA sites using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The species showed differences in chromosome number and a diversified pattern of CMA+ and DAPI+ bands, including heteromorphism for CMA+ bands. The 5S and 45S rDNA sites also varied in number and most of them were co-localized with CMA+ bands. The relationship between 5S rDNA sites and CMA+ bands was more evident in M. notylioglossa, in which the brighter CMA+ bands were associated with large 5S rDNA sites. However, not all 5S and 45S rDNA sites were co-localized with CMA+ bands, probably due to technical constraints. We compare these results to banding data from other species and suggest that not all blocks of tandemly repetitive sequences, such as 5S rDNA sites, can be observed as heterochromatin blocks.

Keywords : heterochromatin; CMA and DAPI; 45S and 5S rDNA; Maxillaria.

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