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author:("barton, Jan")
1.  Intraspecific sequence comparisons reveal similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in the B and D genomes of bread wheat 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:155.
Polyploidization is considered one of the main mechanisms of plant genome evolution. The presence of multiple copies of the same gene reduces selection pressure and permits sub-functionalization and neo-functionalization leading to plant diversification, adaptation and speciation. In bread wheat, polyploidization and the prevalence of transposable elements resulted in massive gene duplication and movement. As a result, the number of genes which are non-collinear to genomes of related species seems markedly increased in wheat.
We used new-generation sequencing (NGS) to generate sequence of a Mb-sized region from wheat chromosome arm 3DS. Sequence assembly of 24 BAC clones resulted in two scaffolds of 1,264,820 and 333,768 bases. The sequence was annotated and compared to the homoeologous region on wheat chromosome 3B and orthologous loci of Brachypodium distachyon and rice. Among 39 coding sequences in the 3DS scaffolds, 32 have a homoeolog on chromosome 3B. In contrast, only fifteen and fourteen orthologs were identified in the corresponding regions in rice and Brachypodium, respectively. Interestingly, five pseudogenes were identified among the non-collinear coding sequences at the 3B locus, while none was found at the 3DS locus.
Direct comparison of two Mb-sized regions of the B and D genomes of bread wheat revealed similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in both genomes with a majority of gene duplications occurring before their divergence. Relatively low proportion of pseudogenes was identified among non-collinear coding sequences. Our data suggest that the pseudogenes did not originate from insertion of non-functional copies, but were formed later during the evolution of hexaploid wheat. Some evidence was found for gene erosion along the B genome locus.
PMCID: PMC3445842  PMID: 22935214
Wheat; BAC sequencing; Homoeologous genomes; Gene duplication; Non-collinear genes; Allopolyploidy
2.  Chromosomes in the flow to simplify genome analysis 
Functional & Integrative Genomics  2012;12(3):397-416.
Nuclear genomes of human, animals, and plants are organized into subunits called chromosomes. When isolated into aqueous suspension, mitotic chromosomes can be classified using flow cytometry according to light scatter and fluorescence parameters. Chromosomes of interest can be purified by flow sorting if they can be resolved from other chromosomes in a karyotype. The analysis and sorting are carried out at rates of 102–104 chromosomes per second, and for complex genomes such as wheat the flow sorting technology has been ground-breaking in reducing genome complexity for genome sequencing. The high sample rate provides an attractive approach for karyotype analysis (flow karyotyping) and the purification of chromosomes in large numbers. In characterizing the chromosome complement of an organism, the high number that can be studied using flow cytometry allows for a statistically accurate analysis. Chromosome sorting plays a particularly important role in the analysis of nuclear genome structure and the analysis of particular and aberrant chromosomes. Other attractive but not well-explored features include the analysis of chromosomal proteins, chromosome ultrastructure, and high-resolution mapping using FISH. Recent results demonstrate that chromosome flow sorting can be coupled seamlessly with DNA array and next-generation sequencing technologies for high-throughput analyses. The main advantages are targeting the analysis to a genome region of interest and a significant reduction in sample complexity. As flow sorters can also sort single copies of chromosomes, shotgun sequencing DNA amplified from them enables the production of haplotype-resolved genome sequences. This review explains the principles of flow cytometric chromosome analysis and sorting (flow cytogenetics), discusses the major uses of this technology in genome analysis, and outlines future directions.
PMCID: PMC3431466  PMID: 22895700
Chromosome sorting; Chromosome-specific BAC libraries; Chromosome sequencing; Chromosome genomics; Genome complexity reduction; Flow cytometry; Physical mapping
3.  BAC Libraries from Wheat Chromosome 7D: Efficient Tool for Positional Cloning of Aphid Resistance Genes 
Positional cloning in bread wheat is a tedious task due to its huge genome size and hexaploid character. BAC libraries represent an essential tool for positional cloning. However, wheat BAC libraries comprise more than million clones, which makes their screening very laborious. Here, we present a targeted approach based on chromosome-specific BAC libraries. Such libraries were constructed from flow-sorted arms of wheat chromosome 7D. A library from the short arm (7DS) consisting of 49,152 clones with 113 kb insert size represented 12.1 arm equivalents whereas a library from the long arm (7DL) comprised 50,304 clones of 116 kb providing 14.9x arm coverage. The 7DS library was PCR screened with markers linked to Russian wheat aphid resistance gene DnCI2401, the 7DL library was screened by hybridization with a probe linked to greenbug resistance gene Gb3. The small number of clones combined with high coverage made the screening highly efficient and cost effective.
PMCID: PMC3035010  PMID: 21318113
4.  Development and mapping of DArT markers within the Festuca - Lolium complex 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:473.
Grasses are among the most important and widely cultivated plants on Earth. They provide high quality fodder for livestock, are used for turf and amenity purposes, and play a fundamental role in environment protection. Among cultivated grasses, species within the Festuca-Lolium complex predominate, especially in temperate regions. To facilitate high-throughput genome profiling and genetic mapping within the complex, we have developed a Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) array for five grass species: F. pratensis, F. arundinacea, F. glaucescens, L. perenne and L. multiflorum.
The DArTFest array contains 7680 probes derived from methyl-filtered genomic representations. In a first marker discovery experiment performed on 40 genotypes from each species (with the exception of F. glaucescens for which only 7 genotypes were used), we identified 3884 polymorphic markers. The number of DArT markers identified in every single genotype varied from 821 to 1852. To test the usefulness of DArTFest array for physical mapping, DArT markers were assigned to each of the seven chromosomes of F. pratensis using single chromosome substitution lines while recombinants of F. pratensis chromosome 3 were used to allocate the markers to seven chromosome bins.
The resources developed in this project will facilitate the development of genetic maps in Festuca and Lolium, the analysis on genetic diversity, and the monitoring of the genomic constitution of the Festuca × Lolium hybrids. They will also enable marker-assisted selection for multiple traits or for specific genome regions.
PMCID: PMC2770082  PMID: 19832973
5.  A first survey of the rye (Secale cereale) genome composition through BAC end sequencing of the short arm of chromosome 1R 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:95.
Rye (Secale cereale L.) belongs to tribe Triticeae and is an important temperate cereal. It is one of the parents of man-made species Triticale and has been used as a source of agronomically important genes for wheat improvement. The short arm of rye chromosome 1 (1RS), in particular is rich in useful genes, and as it may increase yield, protein content and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, it has been introgressed into wheat as the 1BL.1RS translocation. A better knowledge of the rye genome could facilitate rye improvement and increase the efficiency of utilizing rye genes in wheat breeding.
Here, we report on BAC end sequencing of 1,536 clones from two 1RS-specific BAC libraries. We obtained 2,778 (90.4%) useful sequences with a cumulative length of 2,032,538 bp and an average read length of 732 bp. These sequences represent 0.5% of 1RS arm. The GC content of the sequenced fraction of 1RS is 45.9%, and at least 84% of the 1RS arm consists of repetitive DNA. We identified transposable element junctions in BESs and developed insertion site based polymorphism markers (ISBP). Out of the 64 primer pairs tested, 17 (26.6%) were specific for 1RS. We also identified BESs carrying microsatellites suitable for development of 1RS-specific SSR markers.
This work demonstrates the utility of chromosome arm-specific BAC libraries for targeted analysis of large Triticeae genomes and provides new sequence data from the rye genome and molecular markers for the short arm of rye chromosome 1.
PMCID: PMC2565679  PMID: 18803819
6.  Coupling amplified DNA from flow-sorted chromosomes to high-density SNP mapping in barley 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:294.
Flow cytometry facilitates sorting of single chromosomes and chromosome arms which can be used for targeted genome analysis. However, the recovery of microgram amounts of DNA needed for some assays requires sorting of millions of chromosomes which is laborious and time consuming. Yet, many genomic applications such as development of genetic maps or physical mapping do not require large DNA fragments. In such cases time-consuming de novo sorting can be minimized by utilizing whole-genome amplification.
Here we report a protocol optimized in barley including amplification of DNA from only ten thousand chromosomes, which can be isolated in less than one hour. Flow-sorted chromosomes were treated with proteinase K and amplified using Phi29 multiple displacement amplification (MDA). Overnight amplification in a 20-microlitre reaction produced 3.7 – 5.7 micrograms DNA with a majority of products between 5 and 30 kb. To determine the purity of sorted fractions and potential amplification bias we used quantitative PCR for specific genes on each chromosome. To extend the analysis to a whole genome level we performed an oligonucleotide pool assay (OPA) for interrogation of 1524 loci, of which 1153 loci had known genetic map positions. Analysis of unamplified genomic DNA of barley cv. Akcent using this OPA resulted in 1426 markers with present calls. Comparison with three replicates of amplified genomic DNA revealed >99% concordance. DNA samples from amplified chromosome 1H and a fraction containing chromosomes 2H – 7H were examined. In addition to loci with known map positions, 349 loci with unknown map positions were included. Based on this analysis 40 new loci were mapped to 1H.
The results indicate a significant potential of using this approach for physical mapping. Moreover, the study showed that multiple displacement amplification of flow-sorted chromosomes is highly efficient and representative which considerably expands the potential of chromosome flow sorting in plant genomics.
PMCID: PMC2453526  PMID: 18565235
7.  A novel resource for genomics of Triticeae: BAC library specific for the short arm of rye (Secale cereale L.) chromosome 1R (1RS) 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:237.
Genomics of rye (Secale cereale L.) is impeded by its large nuclear genome (1C~7,900 Mbp) with prevalence of DNA repeats (> 90%). An attractive possibility is to dissect the genome to small parts after flow sorting particular chromosomes and chromosome arms. To test this approach, we have chosen 1RS chromosome arm, which represents only 5.6% of the total rye genome. The 1RS arm is an attractive target as it carries many important genes and because it became part of the wheat gene pool as the 1BL.1RS translocation.
We demonstrate that it is possible to sort 1RS arm from wheat-rye ditelosomic addition line. Using this approach, we isolated over 10 million of 1RS arms using flow sorting and used their DNA to construct a 1RS-specific BAC library, which comprises 103,680 clones with average insert size of 73 kb. The library comprises two sublibraries constructed using HindIII and EcoRI and provides a deep coverage of about 14-fold of the 1RS arm (442 Mbp). We present preliminary results obtained during positional cloning of the stem rust resistance gene SrR, which confirm a potential of the library to speed up isolation of agronomically important genes by map-based cloning.
We present a strategy that enables sorting short arms of several chromosomes of rye. Using flow-sorted chromosomes, we have constructed a deep coverage BAC library specific for the short arm of chromosome 1R (1RS). This is the first subgenomic BAC library available for rye and we demonstrate its potential for positional gene cloning. We expect that the library will facilitate development of a physical contig map of 1RS and comparative genomics of the homoeologous chromosome group 1 of wheat, barley and rye.
PMCID: PMC2410134  PMID: 18495015

Results 1-7 (7)