The arrangement of Brachypodium distachyon chromosomes in interphase nuclei

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The spatial organization of chromatin within the interphase nucleus and the interactions between chromosome territories (CTs) are essential for various biological processes, such as DNA replication, transcription, and repair. However, detailed data about the CT arrangement in monocotyledonous plants are scarce. In this study, chromosome painting was used to analyse the distribution and associations of individual chromosomes in the 3-D preserved nuclei of Brachypodium distachyon root cells in order to determine the factors that may have an impact on the homologous CT arrangement. It was shown that the frequency of CT association is linked to the steric constraints imposed by the limited space within the nucleus and may depend on chromosome size and morphology as well as on the nuclear shape. Furthermore, in order to assess whether the distribution of interphase chromosomes is random or is subject to certain patterns, a comparison between the experimental data and the results of a computer simulation (ChroTeMo), which was based on a fully probabilistic distribution of the CTs, was performed. This comparison revealed that homologous chromosome arm CTs associate more often than if they were randomly arranged inside the interphase nucleus.

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