Zlotina A, Galkina S, Krasikova A, Crooijmans RP, Groenen MA, Gaginskaya E, Deryusheva S. Precise centromere positioning on chicken chromosome 3. Cytogenet Genome Res. 2010;129(4):310-3. Epub 2010 Jul 3.


Despite the progress of the chicken (Gallus gallus) genome sequencing project, the centromeric sequences of most macrochromosomes remain unknown. This makes it difficult to determine centromere positions in the genome sequence assembly. Using giant lampbrush chromosomes from growing oocytes, we analyzed in detail the pericentromeric region of chicken chromosome 3. Without knowing the DNA sequence, the centromeres at the lampbrush stage are detectable by immunostaining with antibodies against cohesin subunits. Immunostaining for cohesin followed by FISH with 23 BAC clones, covering the region from 0 to 23 Mb on chicken chromosome 3 (GGA3), allowed us to map the GGA3 centromere between BAC clones WAG38P15 and WAG54M22 located at position 2.3 and 2.5 Mb, respectively. This corresponds to the gap between 2 supercontigs at the 2.4-Mb position in the current GGA3 sequence assembly (build 2.1). Furthermore, we have determined that the current putative centromeric gap at position 11.6-13.1 Mb corresponds in fact to a long cluster of tandem chicken erythrocyte nuclear membrane repeats (CNM).