Ribosomal RNA genes in soybean and common bean: Chromosomal organization, expression, and evolution

L. Shi, T. Zhu, P. Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Ribosomal RNA (5S and 45S) genes were investigated by FISH in two realted legumes: soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] and common bean (Phaseolis vulgaris L.). These species are both members of the same tribe (Phaseoleae), but common bean is diploid while soybean is a tetraploid which has undergone diploidization. In contrast to ploidy expectations, soybean had only one 5S and one 45S rDNA locus whereas common bean had more than two 5S rDNA loci and two 45S rDNA loci. Double hybridization experiments with differentially labelled probes indicated that the soybean 45S and 5S rDNA loci are located on different chromosomes and in their distal regions. Likewise, the common bean 45S and 5S rDNA loci were on unique chromosomes, though two of the 5S rDNA loci were on the same chromosome. FISH analysis of interphase nuclei revealed the spatial arrangment of rDNA loci and suggested expression patterns. In both species, we observed one or more 5S rDNA hybridization sites and two 45S rDNA hybridization sites associated with the nucleolar periphery. The 45S rDNA hybridization patterns frequently exhibited gene puffs as de-condensed chromatin strings within the nucleoli. The other condensed rDNA sites both (5S and 45S) were spatially distant from the nucleous in nucleoplasmic regions containing heterochromatin. The distribution of rDNA between the nucleoplasm and the nucleoli consistent with differential gene expression between homologous alleles and among homologous loci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1996


  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Glycine max
  • Nucleolus
  • phaseolis vulgaris
  • rDNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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