Chromosome analysis and sorting in Vicia sativa using flow cytometry

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Abstract

Procedures were developed for flow cytometric analysis and sorting of mitotic chromosomes (flow cytogenetics) of common vetch (Vicia sativa L., 2n=12). Suspensions of intact chromosomes were prepared from root tips after cell cycle synchronization, formaldehyde fixation, and mechanical homogenization. On average, 3-105 morphologically intact chromosomes could be isolated from 25 root tips. Flow cytometric analysis of DAPI-stained chromosomes resulted in histograms of relative fluorescence intensity (flow karyotypes) containing four peaks, representing particular chromosomes and/or pairs of chromosomes with similar relative DNA content. Peaks I and II were assigned to chromosomes 6 and 5, respectively. These chromosomes could be sorted with a purity exceeding 90 %. The two remaining peaks on the flow karyotype were composite, each of them representing a pair of chromosomes. Chromosomes 1 and 3 were assigned to composite peak III while chromosomes 2 and 4 were assigned to composite peak IV. The chromosomes could be sorted with a purity of 99 % from both composite peaks. Bivariate flow karyotyping after simultaneous staining of chromosomes with DAPI and mithramycin was not found helpful in discriminating additional chromosomes. This study extends the number of legume species for which flow cytogenetics is available and provides a new tool for targeted and effective analysis and mapping of common vetch genome.

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