The present invention provides for the identification and cloning of
functional plant centromeres in Arabidopsis. This will permit
construction of stably inherited plant artificial chromosomes (PLACs)
which can serve as vectors for the construction of transgenic plant and
animal cells. In addition, information on the structure and function of
these regions will prove valuable in isolating additional centromeric and
centromere related genetic elements and polypeptides from other species.