Mapping pachytene chromosomes of coffee using a modified protocol for fluorescence in situ hybridization.

PMID 24244840


Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is the most direct method for physically mapping DNA sequences on chromosomes. Fluorescence in situ hybridization mapping of meiotic chromosomes during the pachytene stage is an important tool in plant cytogenetics, because it provides high-resolution measurements of physical distances. Fluorescence in situ hybridization mapping of coffee pachytene chromosomes offers significant advantages compared with FISH mapping of somatic chromosomes, because pachytene chromosomes are 30 times longer and provide additional cytological markers. However, the application of this technique to pachytene chromosomes has been complicated by problems in making preparations of meiotic chromosomes and by difficulties in the application of standard FISH protocols. We have been able to overcome most of these obstacles in applying the FISH technique to the pachytene chromosomes of coffee plants. Digesting the external callose layer surrounding the pollen mother cells (PMCs) in conjunction with other procedures permitted suitable pachytene chromosomes to be obtained by increasing cell permeability, which allowed the probe sequences to enter the cells. For the first time, hybridization signals were registered on coffee pachytene chromosomes using the FISH technique with a repetitive sequence as a probe. We obtained slides on which 80 % of the PMCs had hybridization signals, resulting in FISH labelling with high efficiency. The procedure does not seem to be dependent on the genotype, because hybridization signals were detected in genetically different coffee plants. These findings enhance the possibilities for high-resolution physical mapping of coffee chromosomes.