Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Picturing plant chromosomes

Scientists in the EU have used cutting-edge technology to better understand genetic organisation in plant cells.
Picturing plant chromosomes
The physical organisation of the genome within the nucleus is important for many cellular processes. Understanding the arrangement of the chromosomes that make up the genome will help scientists to better understand processes within the cell.

Hi-C is a cutting-edge method used to analyse how chromosomes are packaged on a whole-genome scale. It uses next-generation DNA sequencing to visualise the arrangement of chromosomes within the nucleus.

The EU-funded CPIP (Chromosome packing in plants) initiative studied the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana plants and their relatives using the Hi-C technique.

Using Hi-C as well as computer modelling, CPIP created a high-resolution map and Hi-C library of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. The scientists then compared this genome to that of other plants and animals.

The study found that Arabidopsis thaliana chromatin (complex bundles of protein and DNA) is packed in different patterns to those seen in animals. They also showed that intra-chromosomal interactions are higher in some regions of the plant genome than in others.

This advanced understanding of the genome structure also allowed the researchers to create more successful plant hybrids between Arabidopsis thaliana and other plants. A comprehensive Hi-C analysis of the hybrid plants helped scientists to identify new regions and re-arrangements in the plant genome.

These newly developed techniques have already been used in various European collaborations and other genome studies. CPIP has contributed to the growing understanding of genome organisation in plants and animals.

Related information


Chromosomes, genetic organisation, plant cells, genome, Hi-C, Arabidopsis thaliana
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