Effects of B Chromosomes on the A Genome
The odd-even effect in mitotically unstable B chromosomes in grasshoppersCamacho J.P.M. · Perfectti F. · Teruel M. · López-León M.D. · Cabrero J.
Departamento de Genética, Universidad de Granada, Granada (Spain)
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The odd-even effect, by which B chromosomes are more detrimental in odd numbers, has been reported in plants and animals. In grasshoppers, there are only a few reports of this effect and all were referred to as traits related to the formation of aberrant meiotic products (AMPs). Here we review the existing information about B chromosome effects on AMPs, chiasma frequency and the number of active nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) per cell. Polysomy for A chromosomes and B chromosomes are two kinds of chromosome polymorphism frequently found in grasshoppers. In some aspects, e.g. meiotic behaviour and mitotic instability leading to individual mosaicism (in the case of mitotically unstable Bs), polysomic As show similar characteristics to B chromosomes. In fact, polysomy is regarded as one of the main mechanisms for B chromosome origin. Here we review some features of meiotic behaviour in known cases of polysomy and mitotically unstable Bs in grasshoppers, in looking for possible causes for the odd-even effect. In all these traits, the odd-even effect was apparent, although its appearance was not universal in any case, with variation among species or populations within the same species. The equational division and lagging of the extra chromosomes, when univalents, could favour the appearance of abnormal meiotic products, and the formation of bivalents, when there are two or more extra chromosomes, inhibits this process. Therefore, the odd-even effect might be a consequence of the concomitant operation of both aspects of extra chromosome meiotic behaviour. The possibility that the odd-even effect might result from an increase in cell stress generated by odd numbers is suggested.
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