Summary: Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), we have demonstrated clonal variation in the size of chromosome XII in a diploid strain of X2180-2D. The sizes of the two chromosome XII homologues were very different: 2600 (L-type) and 1450 kb (S-type). The frequency with which we detected clonal size variation in the diploid, compared to that of the parental clones, was about 15-50% of the progeny clones and the range of the size variation of the homologues was 2580-2680 kb (L-type) and 1340-1500 kb (S-type), respectively. The homologue of the L-type appeared to be more frequently variable than that of the S-type. The size variation was shown to be derived from size changes in the rDNA cluster region, which is present in chromosome XII, by digesting the chromosome with I, whose cutting site is not present in a rDNA repeat unit, and hybridizing to rDNA probes. The clonal size variation was also investigated in haploids from spores after meiosis. The L-type and S-type chromosomes segregated 2:2 in an ascus and the sizes of all the S-type chromosomes were shifted up, compared to the original diploid, though the L-type ones were stable. The S-type sizes of 1340, 1450 and 1780 kb in the original diploids changed into the ranges of 1475-1610 kb, 1520-1680 kb and 1820-2010 kb, respectively, in the segregants. Furthermore, we observed that the size of S-type chromosomes in haploid cells was gradually increasing in mitosis during successive subcultures. The rDNA units appeared to be amplified on the S-type chromosome.


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