Complex satellite DNA reshuffling in the polymorphic t(1;29) Robertsonian translocation and evolutionarily derived chromosomes in cattle

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We have analysed and mapped physically the satellite I, III (subunits pvu and sau) and IV DNA sequences in cattle using in-situ hybridization. Four breeds were analysed including individuals with a chromosome number of 2n=60 and individuals with the widespread t(1;29) in the homozygous (2n=58) and heterozygous state (2n=59). All three satellite DNA families were present at the centromeres of the many but not all of the autosomal acrocentric chromosomes, and essentially absent from the sex chromosomes. In the translocated t(1;29) chromosome, the satellite DNA families showed a different pattern from that simply derived by fusion of the acrocentric autosomes and loss of satellite sequences, with no variation between breeds. A model of centromeric evolution is presented involving two independent events. Knowledge of mechanisms of translocation formation within cattle is important for a functional understanding of centromere and satellites, investigation of chromosomal abnormalities, and for understanding chromosomal fusion during evolution of other bovids and genome evolution in general.

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