ABSTRACT: Layered on top of information conveyed by DNA sequence and chromatin are higher order structures that encompass portions of chromosomes, entire chromosomes, and even whole genomes. Interphase chromosomes are not positioned randomly within the nucleus, but instead adopt preferred conformations. Disparate DNA elements co-localize into functionally defined aggregates or 'factories' for transcription and DNA replication. In budding yeast, Drosophila and many other eukaryotes, chromosomes adopt a Rabl configuration, with arms extending from centromeres adjacent to the spindle pole body to telomeres that abut the nuclear envelope. Nonetheless, the topologies and spatial relationships of chromosomes remain poorly understood. Here we developed a method to globally capture intra- and inter-chromosomal interactions, and applied it to generate a map at kilobase resolution of the haploid genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The map recapitulates known features of genome organization, thereby validating the method, and identifies new features. Extensive regional and higher order folding of individual chromosomes is observed. Chromosome XII exhibits a striking conformation that implicates the nucleolus as a formidable barrier to interaction between DNA sequences at either end. Inter-chromosomal contacts are anchored by centromeres and include interactions among transfer RNA genes, among origins of early DNA replication and among sites where chromosomal breakpoints occur. Finally, we constructed a three-dimensional model of the yeast genome. Our findings provide a glimpse of the interface between the form and function of a eukaryotic genome.
Project description:Three-dimensional (3D) organization of genomes affects critical cellular processes such as transcription, replication, and deoxyribo nucleic acid (DNA) repair. While previous studies have investigated the natural role, the 3D organization plays in limiting a possible set of genomic rearrangements following DNA repair, the influence of specific organizational principles on this process, particularly over longer evolutionary time scales, remains relatively unexplored. In budding yeast S.cerevisiae, chromosomes are organized into a Rabl-like configuration, with clustered centromeres and telomeres tethered to the nuclear periphery. Hi-C data for S.cerevisiae show that a consequence of this Rabl-like organization is that regions equally distant from centromeres are more frequently in contact with each other, between arms of both the same and different chromosomes. Here, we detect rearrangement events in Saccharomyces species using an automatic approach, and observe increased rearrangement frequency between regions with higher contact frequencies. Together, our results underscore how specific principles of 3D chromosomal organization can influence evolutionary events.
Project description:The three dimensional organization of genomes remains mostly unknown due to their high degree of condensation. Biophysical studies predict that condensation promotes the topological entanglement of chromatin fibers and the inhibition of function. How organisms balance between functionally active genomes and a high degree of condensation remains to be determined. Here we hypothesize that the Rabl configuration, characterized by the attachment of centromeres and telomeres to the nuclear envelope, helps to reduce the topological entanglement of chromosomes. To test this hypothesis we developed a novel method to quantify chromosome entanglement complexity in 3D reconstructions obtained from Chromosome Conformation Capture (CCC) data. Applying this method to published data of the yeast genome, we show that computational models implementing the attachment of telomeres or centromeres alone are not sufficient to obtain the reduced entanglement complexity observed in 3D reconstructions. It is only when the centromeres and telomeres are attached to the nuclear envelope (i.e. the Rabl configuration) that the complexity of entanglement of the genome is comparable to that of the 3D reconstructions. We therefore suggest that the Rabl configuration is an essential player in the simplification of the entanglement of chromatin fibers.
Project description:Centromeres are the chromosomal regions promoting kinetochore assembly for chromosome segregation. In many eukaryotes, the centromere consists of up to mega base pairs of DNA. On such "regional centromeres," kinetochore assembly is mainly defined by epigenetic regulation . By contrast, a clade of budding yeasts (Saccharomycetaceae) has a "point centromere" of 120-200 base pairs of DNA, on which kinetochore assembly is defined by the consensus DNA sequence [2, 3]. During evolution, budding yeasts acquired point centromeres, which replaced ancestral, regional centromeres . All known point centromeres among different yeast species share common consensus DNA elements (CDEs) [5, 6], implying that they evolved only once and stayed essentially unchanged throughout evolution. Here, we identify a yeast centromere that challenges this view: that of the budding yeast Naumovozyma castellii is the first unconventional point centromere with unique CDEs. The N. castellii centromere CDEs are essential for centromere function but have different DNA sequences from CDEs in other point centromeres. Gene order analyses around N. castellii centromeres indicate their unique, and separate, evolutionary origin. Nevertheless, they are still bound by the ortholog of the CBF3 complex, which recognizes CDEs in other point centromeres. The new type of point centromere originated prior to the divergence between N. castellii and its close relative Naumovozyma dairenensis and disseminated to all N. castellii chromosomes through extensive genome rearrangement. Thus, contrary to the conventional view, point centromeres can undergo rapid evolutionary changes. These findings give new insights into the evolution of point centromeres.
Project description:To find the most rapidly evolving regions in the yeast genome we compared most of chromosome III from three closely related lineages of the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. Unexpectedly, the centromere appears to be the fastest-evolving part of the chromosome, evolving even faster than DNA sequences unlikely to be under selective constraint (i.e., synonymous sites after correcting for codon usage bias and remnant transposable elements). Centromeres on other chromosomes also show an elevated rate of nucleotide substitution. Rapid centromere evolution has also been reported for some plants and animals and has been attributed to selection for inclusion in the egg or the ovule at female meiosis. But Saccharomyces yeasts have symmetrical meioses with all four products surviving, thus providing no opportunity for meiotic drive. In addition, yeast centromeres show the high levels of polymorphism expected under a neutral model of molecular evolution. We suggest that yeast centromeres suffer an elevated rate of mutation relative to other chromosomal regions and they change through a process of "centromere drift," not drive.
Project description:A quantitative pachytene chromosome map of rice (Oryza sativa L.) was developed using imaging methods. The map depicts not only distribution patterns of chromomeres specific to pachytene chromosomes, but also the higher order information of chromosomal structures, such as heterochromatin (condensed regions), euchromatin (decondensed regions), the primary constrictions (centromeres), and the secondary constriction (nucleolar organizing regions, NOR). These features were image analyzed and quantitatively mapped onto the map by Chromosome Image Analyzing System ver. 4.0 (CHIAS IV). Correlation between H3K9me2, an epigenetic marker and formation and/or maintenance of heterochromatin, thus was, clearly visualized. Then the pachytene chromosome map was unified with the existing somatic chromosome and linkage maps by physically mapping common DNA markers among them, such as a rice A genome specific tandem repeat sequence (TrsA), 5S and 45S ribosomal RNA genes, five bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones, four P1 bacteriophage artificial chromosome (PAC) clones using multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Detailed comparison between the locations of the DNA probes on the pachytene chromosomes using multicolor FISH, and the linkage map enabled determination of the chromosome number and short/long arms of individual pachytene chromosomes using the chromosome number and arm assignment designated for the linkage map. As a result, the quantitative pachytene chromosome map was unified with two other major rice chromosome maps representing somatic prometaphase chromosomes and genetic linkages. In conclusion, the unification of the three rice maps serves as an indispensable basic information, not only for an in-depth comparison between genetic and chromosomal data, but also for practical breeding programs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: A robust bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-based physical map is essential for many aspects of genomics research, including an understanding of chromosome evolution, high-resolution genome mapping, marker-assisted breeding, positional cloning of genes, and quantitative trait analysis. To facilitate turkey genetics research and better understand avian genome evolution, a BAC-based integrated physical, genetic, and comparative map was developed for this important agricultural species. RESULTS: The turkey genome physical map was constructed based on 74,013 BAC fingerprints (11.9 × coverage) from two independent libraries, and it was integrated with the turkey genetic map and chicken genome sequence using over 41,400 BAC assignments identified by 3,499 overgo hybridization probes along with > 43,000 BAC end sequences. The physical-comparative map consists of 74 BAC contigs, with an average contig size of 13.6 Mb. All but four of the turkey chromosomes were spanned on this map by three or fewer contigs, with 14 chromosomes spanned by a single contig and nine chromosomes spanned by two contigs. This map predicts 20 to 27 major rearrangements distinguishing turkey and chicken chromosomes, despite up to 40 million years of separate evolution between the two species. These data elucidate the chromosomal evolutionary pattern within the Phasianidae that led to the modern turkey and chicken karyotypes. The predominant rearrangement mode involves intra-chromosomal inversions, and there is a clear bias for these to result in centromere locations at or near telomeres in turkey chromosomes, in comparison to interstitial centromeres in the orthologous chicken chromosomes. CONCLUSION: The BAC-based turkey-chicken comparative map provides novel insights into the evolution of avian genomes, a framework for assembly of turkey whole genome shotgun sequencing data, and tools for enhanced genetic improvement of these important agricultural and model species.
Project description:Genome/chromosome organization is highly ordered and controls various nuclear events, although the molecular mechanisms underlying the functional organization remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the TATA box-binding protein (TBP) interacts with the Cnd2 kleisin subunit of condensin to mediate interphase and mitotic chromosomal organization in fission yeast. TBP recruits condensin onto RNA polymerase III-transcribed (Pol III) genes and highly transcribed Pol II genes; condensin in turn associates these genes with centromeres. Inhibition of the Cnd2-TBP interaction disrupts condensin localization across the genome and the proper assembly of mitotic chromosomes, leading to severe defects in chromosome segregation and eventually causing cellular lethality. We propose that the Cnd2-TBP interaction coordinates transcription with chromosomal architecture by linking dispersed gene loci with centromeres. This chromosome arrangement can contribute to the efficient transmission of physical force at the kinetochore to chromosomal arms, thereby supporting the fidelity of chromosome segregation.
Project description:The ring-shaped cohesin complex brings together distant DNA domains to maintain, express, and segregate the genome. Establishing specific chromosomal linkages depends on cohesin recruitment to defined loci. One such locus is the budding yeast centromere, which is a paradigm for targeted cohesin loading. The kinetochore, a multiprotein complex that connects centromeres to microtubules, drives the recruitment of high levels of cohesin to link sister chromatids together. We have exploited this system to determine the mechanism of specific cohesin recruitment. We show that phosphorylation of the Ctf19 kinetochore protein by a conserved kinase, DDK, provides a binding site for the Scc2/4 cohesin loading complex, thereby directing cohesin loading to centromeres. A similar mechanism targets cohesin to chromosomes in vertebrates. These findings represent a complete molecular description of targeted cohesin loading, a phenomenon with wide-ranging importance in chromosome segregation and, in multicellular organisms, transcription regulation.
Project description:Centromeres that are essential for faithful segregation of chromosomes consist of unique DNA repeats in many eukaryotes. Although recombination is under-represented around centromeres during meiosis, little is known about recombination between centromere repeats in mitotic cells. Here, we compared spontaneous recombination that occurs between ade6B/ade6X inverted repeats integrated at centromere 1 (cen1) or at a non-centromeric ura4 locus in fission yeast. Remarkably, distinct mechanisms of homologous recombination (HR) were observed in centromere and non-centromere regions. Rad51-dependent HR that requires Rad51, Rad54 and Rad52 was predominant in the centromere, whereas Rad51-independent HR that requires Rad52 also occurred in the arm region. Crossovers between inverted repeats (i.e. inversions) were under-represented in the centromere as compared to the arm region. While heterochromatin was dispensable, Mhf1/CENP-S, Mhf2/CENP-X histone-fold proteins and Fml1/FANCM helicase were required to suppress crossovers. Furthermore, Mhf1 and Fml1 were found to prevent gross chromosomal rearrangements mediated by centromere repeats. These data for the first time uncovered the regulation of mitotic recombination between DNA repeats in centromeres and its physiological role in maintaining genome integrity.
Project description:In this study the 3-D distribution of centromeres and telomeres was analysed in the interphase nuclei of three Brachypodium species, i.e. B. distachyon (2n=10), B. stacei (2n=20) and B. hybridum (2n=30), which is presumably a hybrid between the first two species. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with centromeric and telomeric DNA probes, it was observed that the majority of B. distachyon nuclei in the root tip cells displayed the Rabl configuration while both B. stacei and B. hybridum mostly lacked the centromere-telomere polarization. In addition, differentiated leaf cells of B. distachyon did not display the Rabl pattern. In order to analyse the possible connection between the occurrence of the Rabl pattern and the phase of cell cycle or DNA content, FISH was combined with digital image cytometry. The results revealed that the frequency of nuclei with the Rabl configuration in the root tip nuclei was positively correlated with an increase in DNA content, which resulted from DNA replication. Also, the analysis of the influence of the nuclear shape on the nuclear architecture indicated that an increasing elongation of the nuclei negatively affected the occurrence of the Rabl pattern. Some possible explanations of these phenomena are discussed.