Translocations between Eu- and heterochromatic chromosomes, and spermatocytes lacking a heterochromatic set in male mealy bugs

Research paper by Uzi Nur

Indexed on: 01 Mar '70Published on: 01 Mar '70Published in: Chromosoma


In male mealy bugs the chromosomes of paternal origin become heterochromatic (H) early in embryogeny while those of maternal origin remain euchromatic (E). First instarPseudococcus obscurus Essig males which were irradiated with 3000 r of X-rays carried translocations between E and H chromosomes [T(E;H)'s] in their spermatocytes. In the T(E;H)'s the border between the E and H segments was usually quite sharp, but occasionally short E segments may have become either partially or completely heterochromatic. During the second meiotic division the E and H sets normally segregate to opposite poles. The T(E;H)'s often formed bridges in AII and TII, but in most of the cells they did succeed in reaching one of the poles. The segregation of the T(E;H)'s depended on the relative size of their E and H segments. When the E and H segments were of the same size, the T(E;H)'s segregated more often with the E chromosomes, even though the latter have been observed to be attached to their pole with fewer spindle fibers. Thirty-five of the 173 males analyzed had sectors in their testes which lacked an H set. The number of cysts per sector suggested that each sector was derived from a single irradiated cell. The karyotypes observed in some of the sectors indicated that the lack of an H set was the result of reversal of heterochromatization and not due to the loss of the H set and the endoduplication of the E set. Most of the cells lacking an H set divided normally during the first meiotic division. The second division, however, was abortive and resulted in the production of diploid sperm. Two possibilities for the origin of spermatocytes lacking an H set are considered: (i) that these spermatocytes resulted from X-ray induced reversal of heterochromatization in spermatogonia, and (ii) that these spermatocytes originated from presumptive cyst wall cells whose H set had undergone reversal prior to the irradiation.