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Genome analysis of South American Elymus (Triticeae) and Leymus (Triticeae) species based on variation in repeated nucleotide sequences.

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Variation in repeated nucleotide sequences (RNSs) at the level of entire families assayed by Southern blot hybridization is remarkably low within species and is a powerful tool for scrutinizing the origin of allopolyploid taxa. Thirty-one clones from RNSs isolated from different Triticeae genera were used to investigate the genome constitution of South American Elymus. One of these clones, pHch2, preferentially hybridized with the diploid H genome Hordeum species. Hybridization of this clone with a worldwide collection of Elymus species with known genome formulas showed that pHch2 clearly discriminates Elymus species with the H genome (StH, StHH, StStH, and StHY) from those with other genome combinations (StY, StStY, StPY, and StP). Hybridization with pHch2 indicates the presence of the H genome in all South American Elymus species except Elymus erianthus and Elymus mendocinus. Hybridization with additional clones that revealed differential restriction fragments (marker bands) for the H genome confirmed the absence of the H genome in these species. Differential restriction fragments for the Ns genome of Psathyrostachys were detected in E. erianthus and E. mendocinus and three species of Leymus. Based on genome constitution, morphology, and habitat, E. erianthus and E. mendocinus were transferred to the genus Leymus.

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