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Macrostructure of the tomato telomeres.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


The macrostructure of the tomato telomeres has been investigated by in situ hybridization, genomic sequencing, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. In situ hybridizations with a cloned telomeric sequence from Arabidopsis thaliana indicated that the telomeric repeat of tomato cross-hybridizes with that of Arabidopsis and is located at all telomeres. Bal31 digestion kinetics confirmed that the tomato telomeric repeat represents the outermost DNA sequence of each tomato chromosome. Genomic sequencing of enriched tomato telomeric sequences, using primers derived from the Arabidopsis sequence, revealed that the consensus sequence of the tomato telomeric repeat is TT(T/A)AGGG compared with the Arabidopsis consensus sequence of TTTAGGG. Furthermore, as shown by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, the telomeric repeat of tomato is separated by not more than a few hundred kilobases from a previously described 162-base pair satellite DNA repeat of tomato (TGR I) at 20 of the 24 telomeres. Together, these sequences are found in the heterochromatic terminal knob observed in pachytene chromosomes. Therefore, these two repeats determine the structure of 20 of the 24 tomato chromosome ends over approximately 2% of the total chromosome length.

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