Centromeres play an important role in chromosome transmission in eukaryotes and comprise specific DNA and proteins that form complexes called kinetochores. In tobacco, although a centromere-specific histone H3 (NtCENH3) and centromeric DNA sequence (Nt2-7) have been identified, no other kinetochore components have been determined. In this study, we isolated and characterized cDNAs encoding two centromeric proteins CENP-C and MIS12 from Nicotiana tabaccum. Two CENP-C homologues, NtCENP-C-1 and -2, isolated from N. tabaccum were similar to CENP-C from N. sylvestris and N. tomentosiformis, respectively. Similarly, two Mis12 homologues, NtMIS12-1 and -2, in N. tabaccum were shown to originate from N. sylvestris and N. tomentosiformis, respectively. Both respective homologues for CENP-C and Mis12 were expressed at the same level. This indicates that in a tetraploid species, N. tabaccum, two ancestral genes encoding the centromeric proteins participate equally in the functioning of centromeres.
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