Tandem repeats on an eco-geographical scale: Outcomes from the genome of Aegilops speltoides

Olga Raskina, Leonid Brodsky, Alexander Belyayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chromosomal pattern of tandem repeat fractions of repetitive DNA is one of the most important characteristics of a species. In the present research, we aimed to detect and evaluate the level of intraspecific variability in the chromosomal distribution of species-specific Spelt 1 and Aegilops-Triticum- specific Spelt 52 tandem repeats in Aegilops speltoides and in closely related diploid and polyploid species. There is a distinct eco-geographical gradient in Spelt 1 and Spelt 52 blocks abundance in Ae. speltoides. In marginal populations, the number of Spelt 1 chromosomal blocks could be 12-14 times lower than in the center of the species distribution. Also, in related diploid species, the abundance of Spelt 52 correlates with evolutionary proximity to Ae. speltoides. Finally, the B- and G-genomes of allopolyploid wheats have Spelt 1 chromosomal distribution patterns similar to those of the types of Ae. speltoides with poor and rich contents of Spelt 1, respectively. The observed changes in numbers of blocks of Spelt 1 and Spelt 52 tandem repeats along the eco-geographical gradient may due to their depletion in the marginal populations as a result of increased recombination frequency under stressful conditions. Alternatively, it may be accumulation of tandem repeats in conducive climatic/edaphic environments in the center of the species' geographical distribution. Anyway, we observe a bidirectional shift of repetitive DNA genomic patterns on the population level leading to the formation of population-specific chromosomal patterns of tandem repeats. The appearance of a new chromosomal pattern is considered an important factor in promoting the emergence of interbreeding barriers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)607-623
Number of pages17
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Aegilops
  • B-chromosomes
  • Eco-geographical gradient
  • Heterochromatin
  • Tandem repeats
  • Triticum

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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