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An early meiosis cDNA clone from wheat


Meiosis occupies only a very short period of the life cycle of higher plants but it is a crucial process ensuring the correct passage and maintenance of genetic information from parent to offspring. A clone (designated pAWJL3) has been isolated from a cDNA library generated from RNA prepared from young wheat florets at early meiosis. The clone was identified through cross-hybridisation to a cDNA clone from maize that, in turn, had been isolated by hybridisation to a Lilium meiosis-specific cDNA clone. The genes encoding the sequence represented in the wheat cDNA clone have been assigned to chromosomes in wheat. The clone, pAWJL3, represents a small family of genes with about 20 members located on the short arms of group 3 and 5 chromosomes. The chromosomal regions harbour genes known to control chromosomal pairing in wheat. DNA prepared from a deletion mutation affecting one of the major genes controlling pairing, Ph2 located on the short arm of 3DS, lacks the 3DS-specific members of the pAWJL3 family bands. The genes are shown to be expressed only after leptotene and predominantly at zygotene and pachytene of meiosis I. The deduced amino acid sequence encoded by the cDNA clone shows two domains, one with three leucine-rich, 24-amino acid repeats and the other with four leucine heptad repeats that resemble those found in basic leucine zipper proteins.

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Correspondence to Peter Langridge.

Additional information

Communicated by H. Saedler

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Ji, L., Langridge, P. An early meiosis cDNA clone from wheat. Molec. Gen. Genet. 243, 17–23 (1994).

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Key words

  • Wheat
  • Chromosome pairing
  • Meiosis
  • Ph
  • Leucine-rich protein