A highly repeated DNA sequence family, STR120, with tandemly arranged repetitive units (monomers) approximately 120 bp, has been identified in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Five related clones showing tandem repeats of a 120-bp-long monomer were isolated from a soybean genomic library. Results of Southern blotting experiments using three of the clones as probes onto genomic DNA digested with different restriction enzymes were in agreement with a tandem arrangement of these sequences in the genome. A total of 12 monomers were sequenced, showing considerable sequence heterogeneity. A consensus sequence of 126 bp was obtained that exhibits an average similarity of 81% to the sequenced units. In three of the clones identified, neighbouring units are significantly more similar to each other than to units from different clones; in the remaining two clones, however, similarity between the two units observed is low (70%), while the overall similarity between the two clones is high (95%). This indicates that in these cases the repetitive unit may be the dimer rather than the monomer. Based on the presence of direct repeats within each monomer, we suggest that the 120-bp monomer may itself have evolved by duplication of an ancestral 60-bp unit. The STR120 family distribution is limited to annual soybeans and is not found, at least at high-copy number, in related perennial soybeans or other members of the tribe Phaseolae. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to metaphase chromosomes using four of the clones as probes shows that the number of chromosomal locations differs depending on the stringency conditions and goes from two to eight when the stringency is progressively lowered. The estimated copy number for one of the clones is from 5000 to 10,000, but this may just represent a lower boundary for the whole family in consideration of the high sequence divergence observed within the family. FISH and sequence analysis therefore indicate that different subfamilies as well as higher-order repeat units are present in the STR120 family, very much like those in primate alpha satellite DNA, and that some of the subfamilies seem to exhibit divergence on a chromosomal basis.
- Fluorescence in situ hybridization
- Repetitive DNA
- Sequence divergence
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