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An open question in meiosis is whether the Rad51 recombination protein functions solely in meiotic recombination or whether it is also involved in the chromosome homology search. To address this question, we have performed three-dimensional high-resolution immunofluorescence microscopy to visualize native Rad51 structures in maize male meiocytes. Maize has two closely related RAD51 genes that are expressed at low levels in differentiated tissues and at higher levels in mitotic and meiotic tissues. Cells and nuclei were specially fixed and embedded in polyacrylamide to maintain both native chromosome structure and the three dimensionality of the specimens. Analysis of Rad51 in maize meiocytes revealed that when chromosomes condense during leptotene, Rad51 is diffuse within the nucleus. Rad51 foci form on the chromosomes at the beginning of zygotene and rise to approximately 500 per nucleus by mid-zygotene when chromosomes are pairing and synapsing. During chromosome pairing, we consistently found two contiguous Rad51 foci on paired chromosomes. These paired foci may identify the sites where DNA sequence homology is being compared. During pachytene, the number of Rad51 foci drops to seven to 22 per nucleus. This higher number corresponds approximately to the number of chiasmata in maize meiosis. These observations are consistent with a role for Rad51 in the homology search phase of chromosome pairing in addition to its known role in meiotic recombination.  相似文献
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The purpose of this project was to identify large numbers of Arabidopsis genes with essential functions during seed development. More than 120,000 T-DNA insertion lines were generated following Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Transgenic plants were screened for defective seeds and putative mutants were subjected to detailed analysis in subsequent generations. Plasmid rescue and TAIL-PCR were used to recover plant sequences flanking insertion sites in tagged mutants. More than 4200 mutants with a wide range of seed phenotypes were identified. Over 1700 of these mutants were analyzed in detail. The 350 tagged embryo-defective (emb) mutants identified to date represent a significant advance toward saturation mutagenesis of EMB genes in Arabidopsis. Plant sequences adjacent to T-DNA borders in mutants with confirmed insertion sites were used to map genome locations and establish tentative identities for 167 EMB genes with diverse biological functions. The frequency of duplicate mutant alleles recovered is consistent with a relatively small number of essential (EMB) genes with nonredundant functions during seed development. Other functions critical to seed development in Arabidopsis may be protected from deleterious mutations by extensive genome duplications.  相似文献
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