5S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) was visualized on the somatic metaphase chromosome of persimmon (Diospyros kaki) and ten wild Diospyros species by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). The digoxigenin (DIG)-labeled 5S rDNA probe was hybridized onto the chromosomes and visualized by incubation with anti-DIG-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). Strong signals of 5S rDNA probe were observed on several chromosomes of Diospyros species tested. Furthermore, multicolor FISH using 5S and 45S rDNA probes differently labeled with DIG and biotin, revealed separate localization of the two rDNA genes on different chromosomes of Diospyros species tested, suggesting that 5S and 45S rDNA sites can be used as chromosome markers in Diospyros. The number of 5S rDNA sites varied with the Diospyros species. More 5S rDNA sites were observed in four diploid species native to Southern Africa than in three Asian diploid species. The former had four or six 5S rDNA sites while the latter had two. Three Asian polyploidy species had four to eight 5S rDNA sites. Among the Asian species, the number of 5S rDNA sites seemed to increase according to ploidy level of species. These features of 5S rDNA sites were very similar to those of 45S rDNA sites in Diospyros. Phylogenetic relationship between D. kaki and wild species tested are discussed based on the number and chromosomal distribution of 5S and 45S rDNA.
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