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Journal of Applied Genetics 51(4), 2010, pp. 449-460

Variability of ribosomal DNA sites in Festuca pratensis, Lolium perenne, and their intergeneric hybrids, revealed by FISH and GISH

T. Ksiazczyk, M. Taciak, Z. Zwierzykowski

Abstract: This study focuses on the variability of chromosomal location and number of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sites in some diploid and autotetraploid Festuca pratensis and Lolium perenne cultivars, as well as on identification of rDNA-bearing chromosomes in their triploid and tetraploid F. pratensis L. perenne hybrids. The rDNA loci were mapped using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with 5S and 25S rDNA probes, and the origin of parental genomes was verified by genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) with L. perenne genomic DNA as a probe, and F. pratensis genomic DNA as a block. FISH detected variation in the number and chromosomal location of both 5S and 45S rDNA sites. In F. pratensis mostly additional signals of 5S rDNA loci occurred, as compared with standard F. pratensis karyotypes. Losses of 45S rDNA loci were more frequent in L. perenne cultivars and intergeneric hybrids. Comparison of the F. pratensis and L. perenne genomes approved a higher number of rDNA sites as well as variation in chromosomal rDNA location in L. perenne. A greater instability of F. pratensis-genome-like and L. perenne-genome-like chromosomes in tetraploid hybrids was revealed, indicating gains and losses of rDNA loci, respectively. Our data indicate that the rDNA loci physically mapped on chromosomes 2 and 3 in F. pratensis and on chromosome 3 in L. perenne are useful markers for these chromosomes in intergeneric Festuca Lolium hybrids.

Key words: Festuca Lolium hybrids, 5S rDNA, 45S rDNA, GISH, rDNA-FISH.

Correspondence: T. Ksiazczyk, Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology, Strzeszynska 34, 60 479 Poznan, Poland; e-mail:

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