The centromere plays an essential role for proper chromosome segregation during cell division and usually harbors long arrays of tandem repeated satellite DNA sequences. Although this function is conserved among eukaryotes, the sequences of centromeric DNA repeats are variable. Most of our understanding of functional centromeres, which are defined by localization of a centromere-specific histone H3 (CENH3) protein, comes from model organisms. The components of the functional centromere in legumes are poorly known. The genus Astragalus is a member of the legumes and bears the largest numbers of species among angiosperms. Therefore, we studied the components of centromeres in Astragalus sinicus. We identified the CenH3 homolog of A. sinicus, AsCenH3 that is the most compact in size among higher eukaryotes. A CENH3-based assay revealed the functional centromeric DNA sequences from A. sinicus, called CentAs. The CentAs repeat is localized in A. sinicus centromeres, and comprises an AT-rich tandem repeat with a monomer size of 20 nucleotides.
- Chinese milk vetch
- chromatin immunoprecipitation
- tandem repeat
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