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Free Content Super-stretched pachytene chromosomes for fluorescence in situ hybridization mapping and immunodetection of DNA methylation

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Meiotic pachytene chromosome-based fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) mapping is one of the most important tools in plant molecular cytogenetic research. Here we report a simple technique that allows stretching of pachytene chromosomes of maize to up to at least 20 times their original size. A modified Carnoy’s II fixative (6:1:3 ethanol:chloroform:acetic acid) was used in the procedure, and proved to be key for super-stretching of pachytene chromosomes. We demonstrate that super-stretched pachytene chromosomes provide unprecedented resolution for chromosome-based FISH mapping. DNA probes separated by as little as 50 kb can be resolved on super-stretched chromosomes. A combination of FISH with immunofluorescent detection of 5-methyl cytosine on super-stretched pachytene chromosomes provides a powerful tool to reveal DNA methylation of specific chromosomal domains, especially those associated with highly repetitive DNA sequences.
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Keywords: DNA methylation; FISH; molecular cytogenetics; pachytene chromosomes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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