This paper reports on state-of-the-art achievements of chromosome painting in Arabidopsis thaliana (2n = 10). Arabidopsis chromosomes 1, 2 and 4 were painted using chromosome-specific BAC contigs. We consider technical aspects of the painting approach and document major applications, such as the tracing of Arabidopsis chromosomes as interphase chromosome territories and during mitotic and meiotic cell cycles as well as comparative chromosome painting in related species. This is the first report of successful interspecific chromosome painting in plants. The evolutionary history of chromosomes homeologous to Arabidopsis chromosome 4 was reconstructed by hybridization of chromosome-4-specific painting probes to karyotypes of Brassicaceae species with x = 8 chromosomes. Future perspectives of chromosome painting in A. thaliana and its wild relatives are outlined.
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