Naumova, Anna K.; Shawn Fayer; Jacky Leung; Boateng, Kingsley A.; R Daniel Camerini-Otero; Teruko Taketo
Failure of homologous synapsis during meiotic prophase triggers transcriptional repression. Asynapsis of the X and Y chromosomes and their consequent silencing is essential for spermatogenesis. However, asynapsis of portions of autosomes in heterozygous translocation carriers may be detrimental for meiotic progression. In fact, a wide range of phenotypic outcomes from meiotic arrest to normal spermatogenesis have been described and the causes of such a variation remain elusive. To better unde...
Anna K Naumova
Full Text Available Failure of homologous synapsis during meiotic prophase triggers transcriptional repression. Asynapsis of the X and Y chromosomes and their consequent silencing is essential for spermatogenesis. However, asynapsis of portions of autosomes in heterozygous translocation carriers may be detrimental for meiotic progression. In fact, a wide range of phenotypic outcomes from meiotic arrest to normal spermatogenesis have been described and the causes of such a variation remain elusive. To better understand the consequences of asynapsis in male carriers of Robertsonian translocations, we focused on the dynamics of recruitment of markers of asynapsis and meiotic silencing at unsynapsed autosomal trivalents in the spermatocytes of Robertsonian translocation carrier mice. Here we report that the enrichment of breast cancer 1 (BRCA1 and histone γH2AX at unsynapsed trivalents declines during the pachytene stage of meiosis and differs from that observed in the sex body. Furthermore, histone variant H3.3S31, which associates with the sex chromosomes in metaphase I/anaphase I spermatocytes, localizes to autosomes in 12% and 31% of nuclei from carriers of one and three translocations, respectively. These data suggest that the proportion of spermatocytes with markers of meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin (MSUC at trivalents depends on both, the stage of meiosis and the number of translocations. This may explain some of the variability in phenotypic outcomes associated with Robertsonian translocations. In addition our data suggest that the dynamics of response to asynapsis in Robertsonian translocations differs from the response to sex chromosomal asynapsis in the male germ line.
Jeffrey M Cloutier
Full Text Available Chromosome abnormalities are common in the human population, causing germ cell loss at meiotic prophase I and infertility. The mechanisms driving this loss are unknown, but persistent meiotic DNA damage and asynapsis may be triggers. Here we investigate the contribution of these lesions to oocyte elimination in mice with chromosome abnormalities, e.g. Turner syndrome (XO and translocations. We show that asynapsed chromosomes trigger oocyte elimination at diplonema, which is linked to the presence of phosphorylated H2AFX (γH2AFX. We find that DNA double-strand break (DSB foci disappear on asynapsed chromosomes during pachynema, excluding persistent DNA damage as a likely cause, and demonstrating the existence in mammalian oocytes of a repair pathway for asynapsis-associated DNA DSBs. Importantly, deletion or point mutation of H2afx restores oocyte numbers in XO females to wild type (XX levels. Unexpectedly, we find that asynapsed supernumerary chromosomes do not elicit prophase I loss, despite being enriched for γH2AFX and other checkpoint proteins. These results suggest that oocyte loss cannot be explained simply by asynapsis checkpoint models, but is related to the gene content of asynapsed chromosomes. A similar mechanistic basis for oocyte loss may operate in humans with chromosome abnormalities.
Schoenmakers, S.; Wassenaar, E.; Cappellen, W.A. van; Derijck, A.A.; Boer, P. de; Laven, J.S.E.; Grootegoed, J.A.; Baarends, W.M.
In meiotic prophase of male placental mammals, the heterologous X and Y chromosomes remain largely unsynapsed, which activates meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI), leading to formation of the transcriptionally silenced XY body. MSCI is most likely related to meiotic silencing of unsynapsed ch
Bhattacharyya, Tanmoy; Gregorova, Sona; Mihola, Ondrej; Anger, Martin; Sebestova, Jaroslava; Denny, Paul; Simecek, Petr; Forejt, Jiri
According to the Dobzhansky-Muller model, hybrid sterility is a consequence of the independent evolution of related taxa resulting in incompatible genomic interactions of their hybrids. The model implies that the incompatibilities evolve randomly, unless a particular gene or nongenic sequence diverges much faster than the rest of the genome. Here we propose that asynapsis of heterospecific chromosomes in meiotic prophase provides a recurrently evolving trigger for the meiotic arrest of interspecific F1 hybrids. We observed extensive asynapsis of chromosomes and disturbance of the sex body in >95% of pachynemas of Mus m. musculus × Mus m. domesticus sterile F1 males. Asynapsis was not preceded by a failure of double-strand break induction, and the rate of meiotic crossing over was not affected in synapsed chromosomes. DNA double-strand break repair was delayed or failed in unsynapsed autosomes, and misexpression of chromosome X and chromosome Y genes was detected in single pachynemas and by genome-wide expression profiling. Oocytes of F1 hybrid females showed the same kind of synaptic problems but with the incidence reduced to half. Most of the oocytes with pachytene asynapsis were eliminated before birth. We propose the heterospecific pairing of homologous chromosomes as a preexisting condition of asynapsis in interspecific hybrids. The asynapsis may represent a universal mechanistic basis of F1 hybrid sterility manifested by pachytene arrest. It is tempting to speculate that a fast-evolving subset of the noncoding genomic sequence important for chromosome pairing and synapsis may be the culprit.
Full Text Available Hybrid sterility (HS belongs to reproductive isolation barriers that safeguard the integrity of species in statu nascendi. Although hybrid sterility occurs almost universally among animal and plant species, most of our current knowledge comes from the classical genetic studies on Drosophila interspecific crosses or introgressions. With the house mouse subspecies Mus m. musculus and Mus m. domesticus as a model, new research tools have become available for studies of the molecular mechanisms and genetic networks underlying HS. Here we used QTL analysis and intersubspecific chromosome substitution strains to identify a 4.7 Mb critical region on Chromosome X (Chr X harboring the Hstx2 HS locus, which causes asymmetrical spermatogenic arrest in reciprocal intersubspecific F1 hybrids. Subsequently, we mapped autosomal loci on Chrs 3, 9 and 13 that can abolish this asymmetry. Combination of immunofluorescent visualization of the proteins of synaptonemal complexes with whole-chromosome DNA FISH on pachytene spreads revealed that heterosubspecific, unlike consubspecific, homologous chromosomes are predisposed to asynapsis in F1 hybrid male and female meiosis. The asynapsis is under the trans- control of Hstx2 and Hst1/Prdm9 hybrid sterility genes in pachynemas of male but not female hybrids. The finding concurred with the fertility of intersubpecific F1 hybrid females homozygous for the Hstx2(Mmm allele and resolved the apparent conflict with the dominance theory of Haldane's rule. We propose that meiotic asynapsis in intersubspecific hybrids is a consequence of cis-acting mismatch between homologous chromosomes modulated by the trans-acting Hstx2 and Prdm9 hybrid male sterility genes.
Coetzee, M; Estrada-Franco, J G; Wunderlich, C A; Hunt, R H
Anopheles pseudopunctipennis was collected from Acapulco, Mexico and Sallee River, Grenada, West Indies and used in cross-mating experiments. Larvae from the cross, Mexico female X Grenada male, died in the third instar. However, adult progeny were obtained from the reciprocal cross Grenada female x Mexico male. These hybrid males had testes with apparently normal appearance but some without viable sperm. Polytene chromosomes obtained from hybrid females exhibited extensive asynapsis of the X chromosomes. Previously undescribed fixed inversion differences between the two populations were noted on the X chromosome. It is concluded that the two populations belong to different species. The Grenada population is designated An. pseudopunctipennis species C, since it is the third taxon recognized in this species complex.
Sobotka, Vladimir; Vozdova, Miluse; Heracek, Jiri; Rubes, Jiri
Male infertility is a serious problem in an increasing number of couples. We report an infertile man with non-obstructive azoospermia and karyotype 45,XY,rob(14;22). The immunofluorescence analysis of his testicular tissue using antibodies to SYCP1, SYCP3, HORMAD2, MLH1, and centromeres showed delayed synapsis of the chromosomes involved in the translocation, a varying extent of trivalent asynapsis and its association with sex chromosomes. The mean frequency of meiotic recombination per cell was within the range of normal values. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with probes for chromosomes 14 and 22 revealed 5.83% of chromosomally abnormal testicular spermatozoa. FISH with probes for chromosomes X, Y, and 21 showed frequencies of disomic and diploid testicular spermatozoa increased when compared to ejaculated sperm of healthy donors, but comparable with published results for azoospermic patients. PGD by FISH for the translocation and aneuploidy of chromosomes X, Y, 13, 18, and 21 showed a normal chromosomal complement in one out of three analyzed embryos. A healthy carrier girl was born after the embryo transfer. This study shows the benefits of preimplantation genetic diagnosis in a case of a rare Robertsonian translocation carrier with azoospermia and a relatively low frequency of chromosomally unbalanced testicular spermatozoa.
Kirkpatrick, Gordon; Chow, Victor; Ma, Sai
Disrupted meiotic behaviour of inversion carriers may be responsible for suboptimal sperm parameters in these carriers. This study investigated meiotic recombination, synapsis, transcriptional silencing and chromosome segregation effects in a pericentric inv(1) carrier. Recombination (MLH1), synapsis (SYCP1, SYCP3) and transcriptional inactivation (γH2AX, BRCA1) were examined by fluorescence immunostaining. Chromosome specific rates of recombination were determined by fluorescence in-situ hybridization. Furthermore, testicular sperm was examined for aneuploidy and segregation of the inv(1). Our findings showed that global recombination rates were similar to controls. Recombination on the inv(1) and the sex chromosomes were reduced. The inv(1) associated with the XY body in 43.4% of cells, in which XY recombination was disproportionately absent, and 94.3% of cells displayed asynapsed regions which displayed meiotic silencing regardless of their association with the XY body. Furthermore, a low frequency of chromosomal imbalance was observed in spermatozoa (3.4%). Our results suggest that certain inversion carriers may display unimpaired global recombination and impaired recombination on the involved and the sex chromosomes during meiosis. Asynapsis or inversion-loop formation in the inverted region may be responsible for impaired spermatogenesis and may prevent sperm-chromosome imbalance.
Yang, Fang; Gell, Katarina; van der Heijden, Godfried W; Eckardt, Sigrid; Leu, N Adrian; Page, David C; Benavente, Ricardo; Her, Chengtao; Höög, Christer; McLaughlin, K John; Wang, Peijing Jeremy
Meiotic silencing of sex chromosomes may cause their depletion of meiosis-specific genes during evolution. Here, we challenge this hypothesis by reporting the identification of TEX11 as the first X-encoded meiosis-specific factor in mice. TEX11 forms discrete foci on synapsed regions of meiotic chromosomes and appears to be a novel constituent of meiotic nodules involved in recombination. Loss of TEX11 function causes chromosomal asynapsis and reduced crossover formation, leading to elimination of spermatocytes, respectively, at the pachytene and anaphase I stages. Specifically, TEX11-deficient spermatocytes with asynapsed autosomes undergo apoptosis at the pachytene stage, while those with only asynapsed sex chromosomes progress. However, cells that survive the pachytene stage display chromosome nondisjunction at the first meiotic division, resulting in cell death and male infertility. TEX11 interacts with SYCP2, which is an integral component of the synaptonemal complex lateral elements. Thus, TEX11 promotes initiation and/or maintenance of synapsis and formation of crossovers, and may provide a physical link between these two meiotic processes.
Full Text Available Ubiquitin E3 ligases target their substrates for ubiquitination, leading to proteasome-mediated degradation or altered biochemical properties. The ubiquitin ligase Ubr2, a recognition E3 component of the N-end rule proteolytic pathway, recognizes proteins with N-terminal destabilizing residues and plays an important role in spermatogenesis. Tex19.1 (also known as Tex19 has been previously identified as a germ cell-specific protein in mouse testis. Here we report that Tex19.1 forms a stable protein complex with Ubr2 in mouse testes. The binding of Tex19.1 to Ubr2 is independent of the second position cysteine of Tex19.1, a putative target for arginylation by the N-end rule pathway R-transferase. The Tex19.1-null mouse mutant phenocopies the Ubr2-deficient mutant in three aspects: heterogeneity of spermatogenic defects, meiotic chromosomal asynapsis, and embryonic lethality preferentially affecting females. In Ubr2-deficient germ cells, Tex19.1 is transcribed, but Tex19.1 protein is absent. Our results suggest that the binding of Ubr2 to Tex19.1 metabolically stabilizes Tex19.1 during spermatogenesis, revealing a new function for Ubr2 outside the conventional N-end rule pathway.
Ishishita, Satoshi; Tsuboi, Kazuma; Ohishi, Namiko; Tsuchiya, Kimiyuki; Matsuda, Yoichi
Hybrid sterility plays an important role in the maintenance of species identity and promotion of speciation. Male interspecific hybrids from crosses between Campbell's dwarf hamster (Phodopus campbelli) and the Djungarian hamster (P. sungorus) exhibit sterility with abnormal spermatogenesis. However, the meiotic phenotype of these hybrids has not been well described. In the present work, we observed the accumulation of spermatocytes and apoptosis of spermatocyte-like cells in the testes of hybrids between P. campbelli females and P. sungorus males. In hybrid spermatocytes, a high frequency of asynapsis of X and Y chromosomes during the pachytene-like stage and dissociation of these chromosomes during metaphase I (MI) was observed. No autosomal univalency was observed during pachytene-like and MI stages in the hybrids; however, a low frequency of synapsis between autosomes and X or Y chromosomes, interlocking and partial synapsis between autosomal pairs, and γ-H2AFX staining in autosomal chromatin was observed during the pachytene-like stage. Degenerated MI-like nuclei were frequently observed in the hybrids. Most of the spermatozoa in hybrid epididymides exhibited head malformation. These results indicate that the pairing of X and Y chromosomes is more adversely affected than that of autosomes in Phodopus hybrids.
Wang, Lu; Guo, Yueshuai; Liu, Wenjing; Zhao, Weidong; Song, Gendi; Zhou, Tao; Huang, Hefeng; Guo, Xuejiang; Sun, Fei
Incompatibilities in interspecific hybrids, such as reduced hybrid fertility and lethality, are common features resulting from reproductive isolation that lead to speciation. Subspecies crosses of house mice produce offspring in which one sex is infertile or absent, yet the molecular mechanisms of hybrid sterility are poorly understood. In this study, we observed extensive asynapsis of chromosomes and disturbance of the sex body in pachytene spermatocytes of sterile F1 males (PWK/Ph female × C57BL/6J male). We report the high-confidence identification of 4005 proteins in the pachytene spermatocytes of fertile F1 males (PWK/Ph male × C57BL/6J female) and sterile F1 males (PWK/Ph female × C57BL/6J male), of which 215 were upregulated and 381 were downregulated. Bioinformatics analysis of the proteome led to the identification of 43 and 59 proteins known to be essential for male meiosis and spermatogenesis in mice, respectively. Characterization of the proteome of pachytene spermatocytes associated with hybrid male sterility provides an inventory of proteins that is useful for understanding meiosis and the mechanisms of hybrid male infertility.
Carlton, Peter M.; Farruggio, Alfonso P.; Dernburg, Abby F.
During meiosis, most organisms ensure that homologous chromosomes undergo at least one exchange of DNA, or crossover, to link chromosomes together and accomplish proper segregation. How each chromosome receives a minimum of one crossover is unknown. During early meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans and many other species, chromosomes adopt a polarized organization within the nucleus, which normally disappears upon completion of homolog synapsis. Mutations that impair synapsis even between a single pair of chromosomes in C. elegans delay this nuclear reorganization. We quantified this delay by developing a classification scheme for discrete stages of meiosis. Immunofluorescence localization of RAD-51 protein revealed that delayed meiotic cells also contained persistent recombination intermediates. Through genetic analysis, we found that this cytological delay in meiotic progression requires double-strand breaks and the function of the crossover-promoting heteroduplex HIM-14 (Msh4) and MSH-5. Failure of X chromosome synapsis also resulted in impaired crossover control on autosomes, which may result from greater numbers and persistence of recombination intermediates in the delayed nuclei. We conclude that maturation of recombination events on chromosomes promotes meiotic progression, and is coupled to the regulation of crossover number and placement. Our results have broad implications for the interpretation of meiotic mutants, as we have shown that asynapsis of a single chromosome pair can exert global effects on meiotic progression and recombination frequency.
Robinson, W.P.; Bernasconi, F.; Schinzel, A.A.; Mutirangura, A.; Ledbetter, D.H. (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (United States)); Langlois, S. (Univ. of Britisch Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)); Morris, M.A.; Malcolm, S.
Thirty-two cases of uniparental disomy (UPD), ascertained from Prader-Willi syndrome patients (N=27) and Angelman syndrome patients (N-5), are used to investigate the pattern of recombination associated with nondisjunction of chromosome 15. In addition, the meiotic stage of nondisjunction is inferred by using markers mapping near the centromere. Two basic approaches to the analysis of recombination in specific pairwise intervals along the chromosome. This method shows a significant reduction in recombination for two of five intervals examined. Second, the observed frequency of each recombinant class (i.e., zero, one, two, three, or more observable crossovers) is compared with expected values. This is useful for testing whether the reduction in recombination can be attributed solely to a proportion of cases with no recombination at all (because of asynapsis), with the remaining groups showing normal recombination (or even excess recombination), or whether recombination is uniformly reduced. Analysis of maternal UPD(15) data shows a slight reduction in the multiple-recombinant classes, with a corresponding increase in both the zero- and one-recombinant classes over expected values. The majority, more than 82%, of the extra chromosomes in maternal UPD(15) cases are due to meiotic I nondisjunction events. In contrast, more paternal UPD(15) cases so far examined appear to have a postzygotic origin of the extra paternal chromosome. 33 refs., 1 fig., 7 tabs.
Basheva, Ekaterina A; Torgasheva, Anna A; Gomez Fernandez, Maria Jimena; Boston, Emma; Mirol, Patricia; Borodin, Pavel M
The chromosomal speciation hypothesis suggests that irregularities in synapsis, recombination, and segregation in heterozygotes for chromosome rearrangements may restrict gene flow between karyotypically distinct populations and promote speciation. Ctenomys talarum is a South American subterranean rodent inhabiting the coastal regions of Argentina, whose populations polymorphic for Robertsonian and tandem translocations seem to have a very restricted gene flow. To test if chromosomal differences are involved in isolation among its populations, we examined chromosome pairing, recombination, and meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin in male meiosis of simple and complex translocation heterozygotes using immunolocalization of the MLH1 marking mature recombination nodules and phosphorylated histone γH2A.X marking unrepaired double-strand breaks. We observed small asynaptic areas labeled by γH2A.X in pericentromeric regions of the chromosomes involved in the trivalents and quadrivalents. We also observed a decrease of recombination frequency and a distalization of the crossover distribution in the heterozygotes and metacentric homozygotes compared to acrocentric homozygotes. We suggest that the asynapsis of the pericentromeric regions are unlikely to induce germ cell death and decrease fertility of the heterozygotes; however, suppressed recombination in pericentromeric areas of the multivalents may reduce gene flow between chromosomally different populations of the Talas tuco-tuco. PMID:24924853
Cheng, E.Y.; Chen, Y.J.; Gartler, S.M. [Univ. of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA (United States)
The commonly accepted view of synapsis is that only 2 homologues can synapse at any one site and that this restriction applies to polyploids as well. However, triple synapsis has been observed is some triploid plants and in triploid chicken. In humans, triple synapsis of the long arm of chromosome 21 was detected in sperm of a trisomic 21 individual. More recently, studies of oocytes from trisomic 21 and 18 fetuses also indicated extensive triple synapsis along the entire length of the chromosomes. To further investigate this question, we undertook an evaluation of trivalent synapsis in fetal oocytes from 2 trisomic 21 and 2 trisomic 18 fetuses using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole chromosome probes. Oocytes were hybridized with whole chromosome probes obtained from ONCOR, Inc. after fixation with methanol and acetic acid. Slides were scored for the distribution of prophase stages, hybridization efficiency, and hybridization characteristics of chromosomes 18 and 21 in the trisomic 18 and 21 fetuses respectively. Fifty-eight per cent (379/650) of pachytenes analyzed for chromosome 18 contained a conspicous trivalent and 319 (48%) of these nuclei contained a single, thick, continuous fluorescent signal consistent with complete triple synapsis along the entire length of all 3 chromosomes. Sixteen per cent (104/650) of pachytene contained 2 signals consistent with a bivalent and a univalent, and 9 cells contained 3 thin signals consistent with asynapsis of all 3 chromosomes. The remaining 158 pachytenes had unusual pairing configurations that we could not classify, but they most likely represent trivalents with partial pairing between different homologues. In the 2 trisomic 21 fetuses, the majority (143/232) of pachytenes also contained one signal while only 52 cells contained a bivalent and univalent. Five cells contained 3 separate signals. These results confirm the existence of triple synapsis in human meiosis.
Full Text Available Meiosis is a complex type of cell division that involves homologous chromosome pairing, synapsis, recombination, and segregation. When any of these processes is altered, cellular checkpoints arrest meiosis progression and induce cell elimination. Meiotic impairment is particularly frequent in organisms bearing chromosomal translocations. When chromosomal translocations appear in heterozygosis, the chromosomes involved may not correctly complete synapsis, recombination, and/or segregation, thus promoting the activation of checkpoints that lead to the death of the meiocytes. In mammals and other organisms, the unsynapsed chromosomal regions are subject to a process called meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin (MSUC. Different degrees of asynapsis could contribute to disturb the normal loading of MSUC proteins, interfering with autosome and sex chromosome gene expression and triggering a massive pachytene cell death. We report that in mice that are heterozygous for eight multiple simple Robertsonian translocations, most pachytene spermatocytes bear trivalents with unsynapsed regions that incorporate, in a stage-dependent manner, proteins involved in MSUC (e.g., gammaH2AX, ATR, ubiquitinated-H2A, SUMO-1, and XMR. These spermatocytes have a correct MSUC response and are not eliminated during pachytene and most of them proceed into diplotene. However, we found a high incidence of apoptotic spermatocytes at the metaphase stage. These results suggest that in Robertsonian heterozygous mice synapsis defects on most pachytene cells do not trigger a prophase-I checkpoint. Instead, meiotic impairment seems to mainly rely on the action of a checkpoint acting at the metaphase stage. We propose that a low stringency of the pachytene checkpoint could help to increase the chances that spermatocytes with synaptic defects will complete meiotic divisions and differentiate into viable gametes. This scenario, despite a reduction of fertility, allows the spreading
Vasco, Chiara; Berríos, Soledad; Parra, María Teresa; Viera, Alberto; Rufas, Julio S.; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Garagna, Silvia; Fernández-Donoso, Raúl
Meiosis is a complex type of cell division that involves homologous chromosome pairing, synapsis, recombination, and segregation. When any of these processes is altered, cellular checkpoints arrest meiosis progression and induce cell elimination. Meiotic impairment is particularly frequent in organisms bearing chromosomal translocations. When chromosomal translocations appear in heterozygosis, the chromosomes involved may not correctly complete synapsis, recombination, and/or segregation, thus promoting the activation of checkpoints that lead to the death of the meiocytes. In mammals and other organisms, the unsynapsed chromosomal regions are subject to a process called meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin (MSUC). Different degrees of asynapsis could contribute to disturb the normal loading of MSUC proteins, interfering with autosome and sex chromosome gene expression and triggering a massive pachytene cell death. We report that in mice that are heterozygous for eight multiple simple Robertsonian translocations, most pachytene spermatocytes bear trivalents with unsynapsed regions that incorporate, in a stage-dependent manner, proteins involved in MSUC (e.g., γH2AX, ATR, ubiquitinated-H2A, SUMO-1, and XMR). These spermatocytes have a correct MSUC response and are not eliminated during pachytene and most of them proceed into diplotene. However, we found a high incidence of apoptotic spermatocytes at the metaphase stage. These results suggest that in Robertsonian heterozygous mice synapsis defects on most pachytene cells do not trigger a prophase-I checkpoint. Instead, meiotic impairment seems to mainly rely on the action of a checkpoint acting at the metaphase stage. We propose that a low stringency of the pachytene checkpoint could help to increase the chances that spermatocytes with synaptic defects will complete meiotic divisions and differentiate into viable gametes. This scenario, despite a reduction of fertility, allows the spreading of Robertsonian
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Robertsonian chromosome polymorphism of Akodon molinae (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae: analysis of trivalents in meiotic prophase Polimorfismo cromosómico Robertsoniano de Akodon molinae (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae
Full Text Available Akodon molinae (with 2n = 42-43-44 and an FN = 44 shows a remarkable polymorphism of chromosome 1 in natural and laboratory populations. Specimens 2n = 42, named single homozygotes (SH, have a chromosome pair 1 formed by two large metacentric chromosomes. Specimens 2n = 3, heterozygotes (Ht, have one chromosome 1 and two medium-sized subtelocentric chromosomes, 1a and 1b, which are homologous with the long and short arms of chromosome 1 respectively. Specimens 2n = 44 are double homozygotes (DH, with just two pairs of medium-sized subtelocentric chromosomes, 1a and 1b. Analysis of meiotic metaphases I and II showed that anomalous segregation occurs more frequently in spermatocytes carrying the 1a and 1b chromosomes. This would disturb gametogenesis and other reproductive and developmental processes, producing a marked decrease in viability of DH individuals. There is, as yet, no satisfactory explanation for these phenomena. To investigate structural elements which might explain such segregational anomalies, we have studied bivalent and trivalent synapsis in pachytene spermatocytes from SH, Ht and DH specimens. Of a total of 80 spermatocyte nuclei microspreads, the following results were obtained: of 16 microspreads from two SH individuals, 20 autosomic bivalents plus the XY bivalent were observed; of 48 microspreads from three Ht individuals, 19 autosomic bivalents, 1 trivalent and an XY bivalent were seen; and of the 16 microspreads from two DH individuals, 21 autosomic bivalents plus the XY bivalent were found. Trivalents analysed showed complete pairing between the short arms of 1a and 1b, and having an apparently normal synaptonemal complex (SC with lengths of 1 and 2.8 µm. The trivalent SC showed three telomeric ends, corresponding to arms: q1 and q1a; p1 and q1b; and p1a and p1b, with attachment plates to the nuclear envelope of normal organisation. None of the trivalents showed asynapsis or desynapsis between p1a and p1b, nor an