Indexed on: 24 Jan '15Published on: 24 Jan '15Published in: Cytogenetic and genome research
The origin of supernumerary (B) chromosomes is still a debated topic, with intra- and interspecific origins being the most plausible options. In the bee Partamona helleri, a sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) marker being specific to B chromosomes suggested the possibility of interspecific origin. Here, we search for this marker in 3 close relative species and perform DNA sequence comparison between species. The SCAR sequence does not show homology with other sequences in the databases, but does contain an open reading frame with sequence homology with a reverse transcriptase. Dot-blot hybridization using the SCAR marker as a probe confirmed that it is present in B-carrying, but not B-lacking larvae of P. helleri, and indicated its presence in adult individuals of P. cupira and P. criptica. Additionally, PCR amplification of the SCAR marker was successful on genomic DNA obtained from P. helleri and P. rustica larvae carrying B chromosomes, and on genomic DNA obtained from adult individuals of P. cupira, P. criptica and P. rustica. Finally, a comparison of the DNA sequence of the SCAR markers amplified from these 4 species showed very few nucleotide differences between the species. The complete association between B chromosome and SCAR presence and the scarce divergence observed for this DNA sequence between the 4 species analyzed suggest the possibility that this B chromosome has recently been transferred between species through several episodes of interspecific hybridization.