Within the framework of the International Solanaceae Genome Project, the genome of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is currently being sequenced. We follow a 'BAC-by-BAC' approach that aims to deliver high-quality sequences of the euchromatin part of the tomato genome. BACs are selected from various libraries of the tomato genome on the basis of markers from the F2.2000 linkage map. Prior to sequencing, we validated the precise physical location of the selected BACs on the chromosomes by five-colour high-resolution fluorescentin situ hybridization (FISH) mapping. This paper describes the strategies and results of cytogenetic mapping for chromosome 6 using 75 seed BACs for FISH on pachytene complements. The cytogenetic map obtained showed discrepancies between the actual chromosomal positions of these BACs and their markers on the linkage group. These discrepancies were most notable in the pericentromere heterochromatin, thus confirming previously described suppression of cross-over recombination in that region. In a so called pooled-BAC FISH, we hybridized all seed BACs simultaneously and found a few large gaps in the euchromatin parts of the long arm that are still devoid of seed BACs and are too large for coverage by expanding BAC contigs. Combining FISH with pooled BACs and newly recruited seed BACs will thus aid in efficient targeting of novel seed BACs into these areas. Finally, we established the occurrence of repetitive DNA in heterochromatin/euchromatin borders by combining BAC FISH with hybridization of a labelled repetitive DNA fraction (Cot-100). This strategy provides an excellent means to establish the borders between euchromatin and heterochromatin in this chromosome.
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