Indexed on: 26 Mar '13Published on: 26 Mar '13Published in: Chromosoma
Artificial minichromosomes are highly desirable tools for basic research, breeding, and biotechnology purposes. We present an option to generate plant artificial minichromosomes via de novo engineering of plant centromeres in Arabidopsis thaliana by targeting kinetochore proteins to tandem repeat arrays at non-centromeric positions. We employed the bacterial lactose repressor/lactose operator system to guide derivatives of the centromeric histone H3 variant cenH3 to LacO operator sequences. Tethering of cenH3 to non-centromeric loci led to de novo assembly of kinetochore proteins and to dicentric carrier chromosomes which potentially form anaphase bridges. This approach will be further developed and may contribute to generating minichromosomes from preselected genomic regions, potentially even in a diploid background.