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Chromosome inheritance? Not the same for all the chromosomes
Date:10/7/2011

New findings of researchers from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Mauro Mandrioli, Valentina Monti and Gian Carlo Manicardi) show that in aphids the two X chromosomes have a different inheritance. The study was published in Comparative Cytogenetics.

Aphids are insects with a sex determination model based on the presence of two X chromosomes (XX) in females and a single X chromosome (XO) in males. Previous studies suggested that X chromosome loss during male determination was random and that both X chromosomes have the same probability to be inherited in males. On the contrary, some authors suggested the presence of strong biases in the transmission of sex chromosomes, so that X chromosomes may have a non-mendelian inheritance in aphids.

On the basis of the results obtained in potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae, we suggest the presence of a non-random elimination of one X chromosome during the male determination process. In particular, the unequal distribution of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) genes between the two X chromosomes could favour the loss of the X chromosome with fewer rDNA genes. This result is due to the fact that all the aphid eggs during the prophase present two X chromosomes linked by rDNA genes. However, in eggs developing as females, the connection is quickly lost, but in male generating eggs the X chromosomes remain attached by rDNA genes and undergo a sort of non-canonical reductional division, so that at the end of this peculiar division, the egg has one X chromosome only and it is determined as a male.

X chromosomes with few rDNA genes seem to be less sticky that X chromosomes with larger rDNA regions, so that their inheritance is not random and X chromosomes with few rDNA genes may be lost and not inherited in males. Mutations in the chromosome structure could therefore affect chromosomal inh
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Contact: Mauro Mandrioli
mauro.mandrioli@unimo.it
39-059-205-5544
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert

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