Application of a modified drop method for high-resolution pachytene chromosome spreads in two Phalaenopsis species

Yi Tzu Kuo, Hui Lan Hsu, Chih Hsin Yeh, Song Bin Chang

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Preparation of good chromosome spreads without cytoplasmic contamination is the crucial step in cytogenetic mapping. To date, cytogenetic research in the Orchidaceae family has been carried out solely on mitotic metaphase chromosomes. Well-spread meiotic pachytene chromosomes can provide higher resolution and fine detail for analysis of chromosomal structure and are also beneficial for chromosomal FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) mapping. However, an adequate method for the preparation of meiotic pachytene chromosomes in orchid species has not yet been reported. Results: Two Taiwanese native Phalaenopsis species were selected to test the modified drop method for preparation of meiotic pachytene chromosomes from pollinia. In this modified method, pollinia were ground and treated with an enzyme mixture to completely remove cell walls. Protoplasts were resuspended in ethanol/glacial acetic acid and dropped onto a wet inclined slide of 30° from a height of 0.5 m. The sample was then flowed down the inclined plane to spread the chromosomes. Hundreds of pachytene chromosomes with little to no cytoplasmic contamination were well spread on each slide. We also showed that the resolution of 45S rDNA-containing chromosomes at the pachytene stage was up to 20 times higher than that at metaphase. Slides prepared following this modified drop method were amenable to FISH mapping of both 45S and 5S rDNA on pachytene chromosomes and, after FISH, the chromosomal structure remained intact for further analysis. Conclusion: This modified drop method is suitable for pachytene spreads from pollinia of Phalaenopsis orchids. The large number and high-resolution pachytene spreads, with little or no cytoplasmic contamination, prepared by the modified drop method could be used for FISH mapping of DNA fragments to accelerate the integration of cytogenetic and molecular research in Phalaenopsis orchids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalMolecular Cytogenetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Biochemistry, medical


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