Rice as a model for centromere and heterochromatin research

Huihuang Yan, Jiming Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Rice (Oryza sativa) has become an important model plant species in numerous research projects involving genome, molecular and evolutionary biology. In this review we describe the reasons why rice provides an excellent model system for centromere and heterochromatin research. In most multicellular eukaryotes, centromeres and heterochromatic domains contain long arrays of repetitive DNA elements that are recalcitrant to DNA sequencing. In contrast, three rice centromeres and the majority of the cytologically defined heterochromatin in the rice genome have been sequenced to high quality, providing an unparalleled resource compared to other model multicellular eukaryotes. Most importantly, active genes have been discovered in the functional domains of several rice centromeres. The centromeric genes and sequence resources provide an unprecedented opportunity to study function and evolution of centromeres and centromere-associated genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Centromere
  • Chromosome structure
  • Heterochromatin
  • Oryza sativa
  • Rice
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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