Liu Mao-Sen et al.
Lycoris species have various chromosome numbers and karyotypes, but all have a constant total number of chromosome major arms. In addition to three fundamental types, including metacentric (M-), telocentric (T-), and acrocentric (A-) chromosomes, chromosomes in various morphology and size were also observed in natural populations. Both fusion and fission translocation have been considered as main mechanisms leading to the diverse karyotypes among Lycoris species, which suggests the centromere organization playing a role in such arrangements. We detected several chromosomal structure changes in Lycoris including centric fusion, inversion, gene amplification, and segment deletion by using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probing with rDNAs. An antibody against centromere specific histone H3 (CENH3) of L. aurea (2n = 14, 8M+6T) was raised and used to obtain CENH3-associated DNA sequences of L. aurea by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) cloning method. Immunostaining with anti-CENH3 antibody could label the centromeres of M-, T-, and A-type chromosomes. Immunostaining also revealed two centromeres on one T-type chromosome and a centromere on individual mini-chromosome. Among 10,000 ChIP clones, 500 clones which showed abundant in L. aurea genome by dot-blotting analysis were FISH mapped on chromosomes to examine their cytological distribution. Five of these 500 clones could generate intense FISH signals at centromeric region on M-type but not T-type chromosomes. FISH signals of these five clones rarely appeared on A-type chromosomes. The five ChIP clones showed similarity in DNA sequences and could generate similar but not identical distribution patterns of FISH signals on individual chromosomes. Furthermore, the distinct distribution patterns of FISH signals on each chromosome generated by these five ChIP clones allow to identify individual chromosome, which is considered difficult by conventional staining approaches. Our results suggest a different organization of centromeres of the three chromosome types in Lycoris species.