Telomere-mediated truncation of barley chromosomes

Eszter Kapusi, Lu Ma, Chee How Teo, Götz Hensel, Axel Himmelbach, Ingo Schubert, Michael Florian Mette, Jochen Kumlehn, Andreas Houben*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Engineered minichromosomes offer an enormous opportunity to plant biotechnology as they have the potential to simultaneously transfer and stably express multiple genes. Following a top-down approach, we truncated endogenous chromosomes in barley (Hordeum vulgare) by Agrobacterium-mediated transfer of T-DNA constructs containing telomere sequences. Blocks of Arabidopsis-like telomeric repeats were inserted into a binary vector suitable for stable transformation. After transfer of these constructs into immature embryos of diploid and tetraploid barley, chromosome truncation by T-DNA-induced de novo formation of telomeres could be confirmed by fluorescent in situ hybridisation, primer extension telomere repeat amplification and DNA gel blot analysis in regenerated plants. Telomere seeding connected to chromosome truncation was found in tetraploid plants only, indicating that genetic redundancy facilitates recovery of shortened chromosomes. Truncated chromosomes were transmissible in sexual reproduction, but were inherited at rates lower than expected according to Mendelian rules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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