Construction and characterization of two BAC libraries from Brachypodium distachyon, a new model for grass genomics

Naxin Huo, Yong Q Gu, Gerard R Lazo, John P Vogel, Devin Coleman-Derr, Ming-Cheng Luo, Roger Thilmony, David F Garvin, Olin D Anderson
Genome Génome / Conseil National de Recherches Canada 2006, 49 (9): 1099-108
Brachypodium is well suited as a model system for temperate grasses because of its compact genome and a range of biological features. In an effort to develop resources for genome research in this emerging model species, we constructed 2 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries from an inbred diploid Brachypodium distachyon line, Bd21, using restriction enzymes HindIII and BamHI. A total of 73,728 clones (36,864 per BAC library) were picked and arrayed in 192,384-well plates. The average insert size for the BamHI and HindIII libraries is estimated to be 100 and 105 kb, respectively, and inserts of chloroplast origin account for 4.4% and 2.4%, respectively. The libraries individually represent 9.4- and 9.9-fold haploid genome equivalents with combined 19.3-fold genome coverage, based on a genome size of 355 Mb reported for the diploid Brachypodium, implying a 99.99% probability that any given specific sequence will be present in each library. Hybridization of the libraries with 8 starch biosynthesis genes was used to empirically evaluate this theoretical genome coverage; the frequency at which these genes were present in the library clones gave an estimated coverage of 11.6- and 19.6-fold genome equivalents. To obtain a first view of the sequence composition of the Brachypodium genome, 2185 BAC end sequences (BES) representing 1.3 Mb of random genomic sequence were compared with the NCBI GenBank database and the GIRI repeat database. Using a cutoff expectation value of E<10-10, only 3.3% of the BESs showed similarity to repetitive sequences in the existing database, whereas 40.0% had matches to the sequences in the EST database, suggesting that a considerable portion of the Brachypodium genome is likely transcribed. When the BESs were compared with individual EST databases, more matches hit wheat than maize, although their EST collections are of a similar size, further supporting the close relationship between Brachypodium and the Triticeae. Moreover, 122 BESs have significant matches to wheat ESTs mapped to individual chromosome bin positions. These BACs represent colinear regions containing the mapped wheat ESTs and would be useful in identifying additional markers for specific wheat chromosome regions.

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