Dissecting the complex genome of crested wheatgrass by chromosome flow sorting

Said, M., Kubaláková, M., Karafiátová, M., Molnár, I., Doležel, J., Vrána, J.
The Plant Genome


Wheatgrass (Agropyron sp.) is a potential source of beneficial traits for wheat improvement. Among them, crested wheatgrass [A. cristatum (L.) Gaertn.] comprises a complex of diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid forms with the basic genome P, with some accessions carrying supernumerary B chromosomes (Bs). In this work, we applied flow cytometry to dissect the complex genome of crested wheatgrass into individual chromosomes to facilitate its analysis. Flow karyotypes obtained after the analysis of 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI)-stained mitotic chromosomes of diploid and tetraploid accessions consisted of three peaks, each corresponding to a group of two or three chromosomes. To improve the resolution, bivariate flow karyotyping after fluorescent labeling of chromosomes with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated probe (GAA) microsatellite was applied and allowed discrimination and sorting of P genome chromosomes from wheat-crested wheatgrass addition lines. Chromosomes 1P-6P and seven telomeric chromosomes could be sorted at purities ranging from 81.7 to 98.2% in disomics and from 44.8 to 87.3% in telosomics. Chromosome 7P was sorted at purities reaching 50.0 and 39.5% in diploid and tetraploid crested wheatgrass, respectively. In addition to the whole complement chromosomes (A), Bs could be easily discriminated and sorted from a diploid accession at 95.4% purity. The sorted chromosomes will streamline genome analysis of crested wheatgrass, facilitating gene cloning and development of molecular tools to support alien introgression into wheat.