5S and 45S rDNA sites are the best mapped chromosome regions in eukaryotic chromosomes. In this work, a database was built gathering information about the position and number of 5S rDNA sites in 784 plant species, aiming to identify patterns of distribution along the chromosomes and its correlation with the position of 45S rDNA sites. Data revealed that in most karyotypes (54.5%, including polyploids) two 5S rDNA sites (a single pair) are present, with 58.7% of all sites occurring in the short arm, mainly in the proximal region. In karyotypes of angiosperms with only 1 pair of sites (single sites) they are mostly found in the proximal region (52.0%), whereas in karyotypes with multiple sites the location varies according to the average chromosome size. Karyotypes with multiple sites and small chromosomes (<3 µm) often display proximal sites, while medium-sized (between 3 and 6 µm) and large chromosomes (>6 µm) more commonly show terminal or interstitial sites. In species with holokinetic chromosomes, the modal value of sites per karyotype was also 2, but they were found mainly in a terminal position. Adjacent 5S and 45S rDNA sites were often found in the short arm, reflecting the preferential distribution of both sites in this arm. The high frequency of genera with at least 1 species with adjacent 5S and 45S sites reveals that this association appeared several times during angiosperm evolution, but it has been maintained only rarely as the dominant array in plant genera.

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